On 2 September, it would have been Bill Shankly’s birthday. For the special occasion, we thought it would be a great chance to look back at Shankly’s best moments caught on film and celebrate the legacy of the renowned Liverpool FC leader.
Famously reserved, the glimpses of his grace and humour shine through on the few clips we have of the legendary manager, as does the down-to-earth manner, and no-nonsense straight talking he became famous for.
Here are our favourite moments of Shankly on film, showing the true gentlemen he was and his immeasurable connection to the city of Liverpool…
Shankly celebrating the ’73 Championship with The Kop
“This is the man they love. The Kop rise and Shankly responds. A great day for him and a great, great day for them.”
The coverage of Anfield celebrations after the Reds took the Championship in ‘73 reveal the special bond between Shankly and LFC fans.
In the video, the winning team runs towards the Kop to a resounding cheer, with the cup thrust above their heads. Shankly himself then heads towards the Kop as the emotionally-charged singing of You’ll Never Walk Alone fills the stadium.
The legendary manager waves to the crowds, raising his fists in triumph. His admiration for the fans is clear but, as the commentator says, “It’s difficult to say who admires who most now”.
Shankly’s View on Working Hard
“No football club is ever successful without hard work”.
In this short interview clip, Bill Shankly sets out where his ethos as a football manager stems from. Remembering his time in the armed forces, Shankly reveals how he’s adapted his work ethic in the army for his footballing career.
Just as the tough jobs of cleaning floors and latrines in the forces was matched by hard work and determination to do the best job possible, Shankly suggests that playing football can be defined by the same ideas. “If everyone thinks along these lines and does the small jobs to the best of their ability,” he says, “then the world will be better.”
Talking to the people of Liverpool
“I’ve drummed it into our players time and again that they are privileged to play for you.”
We often talk of Shankly being the greatest ever, but it’s also true to say that Liverpool fans are also some of the best supporters in the world. The legendary football manager knew that the dedication Reds put into their team was second to none.
Shankly once described his intimate connection with fans in a typically eloquent way: “Liverpool was made for me and I was made for Liverpool”.
The above video was taken on 9 May 1971 after Liverpool had just lost the 1971 FA Cup Final against Arsenal. Despite the score of 2-1, Reds fans still filled the square outside St George’s Hall in Liverpool city centre, giving the frustrated team a hero’s welcome.
On seeing the throng of fans, Shankly apparently held his arms wide and declared: “Chairman Mao has never seen the greatest show of red strength!” to cheers from the crowd.
He then went on to express the privilege it was for LFC footballers to play for their fans, to chants of ‘Shankly, Shankly’ from the whole square.
“It’s the greatest thing in the world, natural enthusiasm. You’re nothing without it.”
In this short clip of a Shankly interview, the King of the Kop reaffirms his belief in hard work being the deciding factor for success in life, singling out ‘natural enthusiasm’ as his most important trait.
Much of Shankly’s childhood was defined by working hard and to the best of your ability – he grew up in a remote and poverty-stricken village in Scotland, who’s only exports were coal and footballers.
The community of Glenbuck, in East Ayrshire, strove to do the best job possible in helping out their neighbours. According to former inhabitants of the tiny village, the mining settlement had a collective attitude to life and were happy to help any family in need.
This community spirit followed Shankly into his career as a manager, where he instilled a belief that footballers should play as a team and not as a group of individuals, and that the best footballers were the hard-working ones.
On The Kop
“If you’re a member of The Kop, you feel as though you’re a member of a big society, where you’ve got thousands of friends all about you. They’re united and loyal.”
At the beginning of this clip, Bill Shankly describes his admiration for The Kop and the loyal fans who count themselves as part of the famous fan group.
The football manager always had a special place in his heart for Anfield’s best-loved stand: allegedly, after The Beatles asked for tickets to a FA Cup final at Wembley, Shankly replied saying “I have never seen any of The Beatles standing on The Kop. Any ticket I have spare will be going to my mates on The Kop.”
It was a relationship that went both ways: as the rest of the clip shows, when Shankly sadly past away in 1981, it was The Kop that lead the mourning for the father of football in Liverpool.
Happy Birthday Shanks!
On behalf of everyone at The Shankly Hotel, we’d like to say Happy Birthday to Bill Shankly – a legendary football manager like no other.
The Shankly Hotel is dedicated to celebrating the life and legacy of LFC’s greatest leader. We like to say that a night at The Shankly isn’t a stay, but an experience. The stories of Shankly’s successes and his ethos in life are woven into the design of the hotel, with each suite based around a quote or anecdote celebrating the legendary manager.
With unseen memorabilia throughout the hotel, including Shankly’s own typewriter, a Telegram wishing him luck from The Beatles, and much more, a night at The Shankly is the perfect present for any Liverpool fan looking to discover more about the Reds legendary manager.
To book, call our friendly team today on 0151 909 3635