I thought it may be on interest to give some insight into why I decided to explore the idea of a Bill Shankly themed hotel in Liverpool.
As his grandson, one of the most important things for me and the family is to enhance and sustain his legacy for future generations. One of the most humbling things as a Liverpool fan who travels everywhere with the team is that when I continue to meet fans from all over the world of all ages, they all still worship Grandy. When youngsters who are barely in their teens talk to me with so much passion about him; it shows the profound effect he had on generations of Liverpool fans; as the love for him has clearly been passed down from parents to children, to grandchildren and beyond.
He was more than a football manager, he was an icon and an inspiration for many people, and the phrase, ‘He made the people happy,’ emblazoned on the Shankly statue summed him up perfectly. He just wanted to make people happy. His personality was infectious. His beliefs were invariably socialist and his quote which highlighted his mantra in this respect is one of my favourite Shankly quotes;
“The socialism I believe in is everybody working for the same goal and everybody having a share in the rewards. That’s how I see football, that’s how I see life.”
It is one which I try to live by myself and is at the heart of all the ventures I have started in Grandy’s name. As a family therefore, we are trying to continue this ethos of using his name and influence to make people happy via these ventures.
So why a hotel? It was simple really. Liverpool FC is one of the biggest football clubs in the world. Liverpool as a City is one of the most visited cities in the wold. Shankly is the godfather of Liverpool FC and much loved by the people of the City. The City welcomes thousands and thousands of fans into its midst every week. Providing them with a venue to stay, that offers a genuine football experience, that offers them an experience that is MORE than just a room for the night; but instead, a complete unique experience that will send them home with memories for life; is something that is, to coin a phrase, ‘very Shankly.’ He would most definitely approve, as it is for the people and he made the people happy.
As some of you will probably know; I am the founder and Chair of The Shankly Family Foundation, a charity I started in September 2013 in what would have been Grandy’s 100th birthday year. The aims of the charity are to support grass roots football and children and young people and you can check out more detail on www.theshanklyfamilyfoundation.com and @shanklyFF
There is no doubt that having a charity operate in his name would have ticked the Shankly socialist mantra, it gives something back to the people and epitomises his beliefs conveyed above. I have already made a commitment that the commercial success of The Shankly Hotel will make a contribution to The Shankly Family Foundation to help it sustain and grow. It is quite simply, ‘everybody working for the same goal and everybody having a share of the rewards.’
So how did we manage to achieve such a feat and what can you expect from ‘The Shankly?’ Stay tuned for subsequent blogs…….