The Shankly Hotel is the best place to visit to see the most amazing Bill Shankly memorabilia in the world. The Shankly Hotel is a lasting tribute to the man that changed Liverpool Football Club forever and this month, we welcomed new memorabilia to the museum.
The newest additions to the collection of Bill Shankly memorabilia are a selection of telegrams sent to the great man himself, an Agreement for Hire of a Player book, handwritten training schedules and an academic book.
A Protégé Sends His Well Wishes
Denis Law was a Scottish footballer who began his career at Second Division Huddersfield Town in 1956 when Bill Shankly was managing the team. Shankly gave Law his first-team debut when Law was only 16 years old.
When Shankly moved teams to take on the task of transforming Liverpool, he wanted to take Denis Law with him, but the reds were unable to afford the rising star at the time. The young footballer eventually moved to Manchester United and it was from here that he sent a telegram with fellow United player, Paddy Crerand, the telegram is on display now at The Shankly Hotel.
There is also another telegram from Law and his family that was sent when Bill Shankly received his OBE award. As well as congratulating the legend on the honour, he stated that Shankly should be receiving a Knighthood next.
From One Liverpool Legend to Another
Reds legend Jimmy Melia signed to Liverpool straight from school and was a favourite of Shankly’s in his early campaign to make Liverpool a bastion of invincibility.
Under Shankly’s careful eye, Liverpool and Melia rocketed to the First Division and even went on to win the championship.
Melia went on to play for Wolves and Southampton and now coaches youth teams for Liverpool FC in America.
The Shankly Hotel now has a telegram from one Liverpool legend to another, wishing Shankly luck ahead of the FA Cup Final and European Cup quest.
Congratulations from a Firm Friend and Fierce Competitor
Friendly competitiveness between managers is commonplace in football, it drives teams to be better and try harder and is all good natured.
Don Revie was the manager of Leeds United from 1961 to 1974, around the same period Bill Shankly was at the reigns of Liverpool.
Despite the professional competition, the two were firm friends, with reports that they spoke on the phone every Sunday to discuss their teams’ efforts of that week.
When Liverpool beat Newcastle United in 1974 to win the FA Cup Final, Don and his wife Elsie sent their congratulations directly to Bill via telegram.
Sportsmanship from a Blue
You don’t have to be from Liverpool to be aware of the fierce competition between Everton and Liverpool. Derby Day is an exciting day that brings everyone together in the name of football and despite the perceived rivalry.
Former Everton player and Northern Ireland native Billy Bingham was quick to congratulate Shankly on his retirement in 1974. After winning the FA Cup in that year, Shankly decided that it was time for him to finally call it a day.
For nearly 15 years, Liverpool Football Club had been his entire life, but he noted that when he returned to the dressing room after winning the FA Cup, he ‘felt tired from all the years’. He had transformed Liverpool and cemented himself in the hearts of everyone in the city and it was time for him to enjoy his life away from the pitch.
Liverpool Actor Offers Congratulations
When Liverpool reached the FA Cup final for the first time in 1965, there were many congratulations that were sent to Shankly. One such message came in the form of a telegram from Anthony Booth, a Liverpool actor who was Cherie Blair’s father.
Gerry Marsden Wishes Shanks Well
Famed for his iconic Liverpool songs Ferry Across the Mersey and for his vocals on Liverpool anthem You’ll Never Walk Alone, Gerry Marsden sent a telegram with his well wishes to Shankly upon his retirement.
The two met on the Ed Sullivan show in the USA when the team came to watch Gerry perform while on tour. The team came onto the stage to perform a special rendition of You’ll Never Walk Alone and as the footballers walked off set, Shankly said to Gerry: “Gerry my son, I’ve given you a football team and you’ve given us a song.”
Inspiring the Beatles’ First Manager
Sam Leach, while known more for being a Liverpool promoter and the first manager of The Beatles, was a massive football fan and a keen supporter of Liverpool.
When the club experienced their first ever European Cup Triumph, he sent a telegram to Shankly to express his feelings that the success was partly down to Shankly, despite Shankly having retired three years earlier.
While Sam was friends with John Lennon and Paul McCartney, he always said that Bill Shankly was the most inspirational man he’d ever met.
A Letter Nearly Lost
One of the most fascinating pieces of Bill Shankly memorabilia on display at The Shankly Hotel is the letter from Clementine Churchill, wife of Winston Churchill. The letter was written to thank Bill for the role he played in making a charity game at Wembley for the Red Cross and St John’s War Organisation a success.
The letter was nearly discarded as trash by Bill’s daughter Jeanette and was tore into three pieces before she realised the importance of the paper. Luckily, it was able to be pieced back together and can still be read.
Handwritten Notebooks and Football Documents
Also on display are several handwritten notebooks that once belonged to the great man. There are two training schedules for his first team at Melwood whilst the other is an academic book from his school days.
There is also an Agreement for Hire of a Player book, which shows the agreements between Shankly and Preston for his remaining playing years at the club. After Shankly returned from his WWII service, his best playing years were behind him, but he wanted to continue his playing career before he embarked on his journey as a manager.
Get the Full Shankly Experience at The Shankly Hotel
At The Shankly Hotel, we’re always acquiring new Bill Shankly memorabilia and it’s the premier destination to get your fill of all things Bill Shankly.
From fan letters to Shankly to his MBE and his original LFC contract, feast your eyes on mementoes from Shankly’s life that have been generously donated by his family.
You can even go the extra mile and enjoy the full Shankly experience with an overnight stay, where you can get a glimpse of some of the stories about Shankly from the people of Liverpool, his colleagues and his family.
Why not embark on a Shankly Tour of Liverpool and experience the city that he loved. Visit destinations that meant a lot to Liverpool’s greatest manager and enjoy a bespoke tour that can be personalised to your interests.