Bill Shankly was a man who was never stuck for much to say, and it was his wit and warm personality that made people fall in love with him. Over the years, many people haven’t been stuck for stories about one of the world’s greatest managers, which is why we thought we’d share a few of them with you.
1. John Keith on the suspicions of Bill Shankly
John Keith, a respected sports journalist, told how Bill was once found talking to a ceiling…
“Bill Shankly’s suspicions of dirty tricks in foreign lands were always at their height when Liverpool travelled behind the former Iron Curtain. On one trip into Eastern Europe, a member of the club called at Bill’s hotel and found him standing on a chair talking to the ceiling light. ‘I know you’re there… you’re spying on us,’ Bill shouted, borrowing nothing from James Bond. Then, still glaring upwards, he demanded: ‘Why don’t you come out, you cowards?‘”
2. George Best on Bill Shankly vs The Law
George Best looked back on how Bill Shankly was once pulled over by the police for speeding…
“When Shankly was manager at Grimsby, he was stopped by the police for speeding. The officer involved told him, ‘You were going a bit fast there, Mr Shankly,’ to which Shankly replied, ‘You must have been going fast yourself to keep up with me.“
3. Tommy Docherty on Bill Shankly’s Quick Wit
Tommy Docherty recalls how Adidas planned to honour Bill…
“Adidas wanted to present him with a Golden Boot in recognition of what he’d done. Bob [Paisley] took the call and said ”They want to know what shoe size you take‘. Shanks shouted back, ‘if it’s gold, I’m a 28.“
4. Patrick Barclay on Bill Shankly on Ian Callaghan
Journalist Patrick Barclay asks Shanks his opinion on LFC player Ian Callaghan…
“‘I was just wondering what you thought of Ian Callaghan,‘ I asked. There was a slight paused before Shankly replied ‘Jesus Christ‘, and I thought ‘Oh no, I’ve upset him and now he’s swearing at me.’ I apologised, but he replied ‘No, no, son. I’m saying Jesus Christ is who Ian Callaghan reminds me of. Cally is the greatest man to have existed on this earth since Jesus Christ and he sets an example for everyone around him.'”
5. Ian St John on Bill Shankly Banter
Ian St John remembering the time the This is Anfield sign was placed in the ground…
“When the sign went up Liverpool were playing Newcastle. The Newcastle players are in the passage way and they see the sign. Malcolm McDonald – “Supermac” is going ‘Oh we’ve got the right ground, lads. This is Anfield.’ Shanks heard him.
They get into the dressing room, get stripped, go out to play. Liverpool won, it was 5-0. After the game, the boss goes in and knocks on their door. Joe Harvey says ‘Yes, Bill?’ ‘Is Supermac there?’ They are sitting there, they had just been battered. Shanks then went “You’ll know where it is next time.”
Have you got a favourite Shankly moment? Tell us what it is by leaving us a message below.