Yesterday marked the 40th anniversary of Grandy’s ‘bombshell’ resignation from Liverpool FC, and as his grandson and family; I have to say it is still one of the most asked questions I am posed.
“So why did Shanks resign?”
I spoke a number of times to both my Nan and mum on the situation over the years, and the answer has never really changed. For his family. The subject is frequently speculated on with a more sinister, contentious vibe by the general populace and fans; with people often looking for more than meets the eye.
But the truth is that Shanks’ decision to resign was simply for family reasons. Grandy even states it in his own auto-biography!
Only The Best Will Do
The simple fact of the matter was that he had been involved in football all his life. Playing, coaching and managing, a period of time also containing a spell in the forces during the second world war; where he met my nan, Nessie.
He was tired. His personality, his ethos, his very being meant that in everything he did, he gave 100% of himself; and he was never still; always on the move.
As a man in his 60’s, this was always going to eventually catch up with him and the dedication he gave to the job, and excellence he commanded and expected of himself meant he could never do the job at anything less than his best.
A Family Man
He was a husband, and a father to two daughters, Barbara and Jeanette. His family unit had moved round with him from job to job.
Whilst its hard to appreciate life before LFC; he and the family very much had one that took them from town to town, city to city. Glenbuck, Glasgow, Preston, Carlisle, Grimsby, Workington, Huddersfield (in no particular order before you eagle eyed stato’s pull me up); just some of the places that he and the family put down roots before they were eventually yanked up and firmly planted once and for all in his Liverpool home.
For a family; a wife and young kids, this can be hard, especially when Grandy himself was rarely around at home to be able to console and comfort as much as the ‘conventional husband and father.’ It can be stressful and over years, the stress can mount up and eventually take its toll.
Time To Draw the Line
With roots firmly planted in Liverpool, the family unit grew. Daughters met potential husbands before the lucky ones eventually did become husbands. Soon followed grandchildren.
Six of us would come along eventually!
From the conversations with Nan and Mum; there simply became a realisation from him that he had missed out on enough family time, and the stresses combined with this and their after effects; plus the physical and mental demands of the job; meant it was time to draw a line and commit to family life.
Did he really want to? Probably not. To try and say otherwise even as the family would be futile. But it didn’t mean he loved his family less than the job. If anything; it proved he loved them more.
It was time however; to spend some more quality time with Nessie (even actually take her on a date for the first time in quite a while!).
Time to spend more time with Barbara and Jeanette and their burgeoning families including his grandchildren. Time to relax and enjoy his life. Enjoy his life’s work and achievements and time to enjoy the city he came to love. Outside of the trials and tribulations of football management.
He was a man of football, born and bred. It had been all he knew. So to elect to leave the game he loved; to leave Liverpool FC, his life’s work; when they were just at the pinnacle of their prowess, was the biggest sacrifice he could make. But he did. For his family.
As for all THOSE rumours post resignation, stay tuned for future blogs……..
Christopher William Shankly Carline