Construction Begins on the New Shankly Hotel

We are delighted to announce work has begun on the new Shankly Hotel in Liverpool. The first ever Bill Shankly-themed accommodation. A celebration for the life and legacy of one of football’s greatest managers.

Inside the hotel

Work began on the Signature Living scheme on the 1st February, 2015. There are also plans to include a rooftop extension and terrace to this Liverpool city centre Apart-hotel.

The Shankly Hotel will boast 61 bedrooms, serviced apartments and office space. A unique and luxurious banqueting suite including stunning dining facilities and outdoor spaces are also in the plans.

The building is also to retain a state-of-the-art Lifestyles gym which will be located on the ground and first floors.

Plans for the future

Signature Living has submitted a planning application for a rooftop-glazed extension.  A feature which is likely to be a great addition to the growing city of Liverpool.

The fifth floor of the building will offer conferencing and event space with further access to a sixth floor terrace.

The Shankly Hotel in Liverpool is expected to open in August 2015. A project that has resulted in 50 construction jobs during development, with the hotel expected to create a further 80 to 100 roles once the doors are opened.

You can read more about the rooftop extension plans and the history of the historic building here:

Garden of Eden

 

The Life of Bill Shankly

Bill Shankly was an inspiration. Not only to football, but to anyone who has ever faced struggles in their life. He was born in the coal mining village of Glenbuck, Ayshire, in 1913, with very humble beginnings; but, through hard work and perseverance, he went onto become one of the greatest football managers of all time.

But who is Bill Shankly? We take a look at the man’s whole life, including the footballer, to discover who the man behind the legend was…

Professional Football

Bill Shankly was undoubtedly a very intelligent man, despite the fact he left education at just 14 years old to begin work at a local colliery. Not shy of hard work, Bill spent two years down the pit; however, he seen football as his way out of it.

Shankly was one of 50 Glenbuck son’s who escaped the coalmining village to make it in professional football in the first half of the 20th Century; however, none of them would leave a legacy behind quite like William. The Shankly family all shared a passion for the big game, with four of Bill’s brothers all making it as professional footballers.

Shankly finally made it as a professional footballer when he signed for Carlisle United in 1932, but it was at Preston North End where he really shone on the pitch, when he joined the club just one year later in 1933.

Shankly was a brave right half who made a total of 337 appearances for the club, helping the team to win the FA Cup in 1938; however, his time at Preston North End was interrupted by his service in the RAF in World War II. Like all aspiring footballers dream of, Bill Shankly played for his national team, Scotland, between 1938 to 1943, and often spoke of his “unbelievable pride” when they played against England, winning the match 1-0.

What made Shankly different from many of the players on the pitch was that he believed the game should be played fairly, and was proud to say he was “never sent off the field or had (his) name in a referee’s book”. To him, tackling was an art that was all about timing and the sole objective of winning the ball – and he stood by this philosophy through his management career.

Shankly was, by no stretch of the imagination, in love with football. During the summer of 1933, he event spent his spare time training, and it is claimed he developed a unique long throw-in by throwing balls over a row of houses, asking the boys of the village to retrieve them for him.

Management Career

Carlisle United

Whilst Shankly was a successful footballer, it was his management career that would define his legacy. Shankly started his managerial career the same way he started as a professional footballer: at Carlisle United. He joined as manager during the 1948-49 season, when the club was in the bottom half of the Third Division North. With sheer hard work and unrivalled skills, Shankly ensured Carlisle United finished 15th in the table, after only being in charge for just a few matches. It was here that Shankly’s management potential was born.

Shankly used the power of psychology to motivate his players, falsely informing the team that the opposition were not fit for the match or that the opposition had a tough journey to the ground. After a disagreement with the club over player bonuses, Shankly resigned from the club and took up an offer from Grimbsy Town, following a failed interview at Liverpool FC.

Grimsby Town

Shankly was to make or break Grimsby Town, as they had been relegated twice in two seasons, dropping from First Division to Third. Some of the club’s best players had also been transferred before he even arrived as manager. However, Bill strongly believed there was more potential at Grimsby Town than at Carlisle United, and was pleased with some of the remaining players he still had to work with.

Bill brought new players to the club for low fees, which helped to make a challenge for promotion in 1951-52, but the club finished second, just three points behind Lincoln City. Following a disagreement with the club for their lack of ambition, and due to him and his wife feeling homesick for their native Scotland, Bill Shankly made the decision to take up an offer as manager for Workington to be closer to home.

Workington

Bill enthusiastically joined the club in 1954, seeing Workington as a challenge he believed he could win. When he joined, Workington were at the bottom of the Third Division North, but by the end of the of the 1954-55 season the team finished at a credible 8th place.

During his time at Workington, Shankly was responsible for many of the administration duties, and would often answer calls and deal with mail. However, Shankly’s problem was that Workington shared the ground with a local rugby club, which he believed was ruining the playing surface. On 15th November 1955, Shankly resigned at manager and joined Huddersfield Town, but this time as assistant manager to Andy Beattie.

Huddersfield Town

Shankly initially joined Huddersfield Town as assistant manager, but took over the role of manager in 1956 when Andy Beattie resigned. Shankly was responsible for the signing of some of football’s most rising talents at the time, including 16-year-old Denis Law, and Huddersfield Town’s most capped player, Ray Wilson.

However, Shankly resigned from the club when they intended to sell the team’s best players with no money to buy replacements, and delightfully accepted an offer at Liverpool FC as manager in 1959.

Liverpool FC

Shankly believed Liverpool had great potential, as the club had been in Second Division for five years prior to his arrival. Bill Shankly knew that in order for the club to succeed, major changes were necessary. Liverpool Football Club was a shadow of the ground fans know and love today, and it is all thanks to the legendary manager who insisted that £3,000 was spent to repair Anfield and water the pitch.

He also immediately connected to the club’s supporters, who he believed were “his kind of people”. Few could argue that it was Shankly’s forceful personality that transformed Liverpool. He brought a sense of pride, loyalty and determination that no other Liverpool manager ever had, and his passion for the game was infectious.

He also knew that in order to succeed new players would need to be brought in. Shankly separated the wheat from the chaff, bringing in new players that helped the club make history, including the likes of Ian St John, Tommy Lawrence and Ian Callaghan.

Despite a shaky start, the team improved season by season, and by the end of Bill Shankly’s management career at the club, Liverpool FC had become a First Division club that had won two FA Cups (1965 and 1974), the UEFA Cup (1973) and the FA Charity Shield in 1964, 1965 and 1966.

Retirement

With a heavy heart, Bill Shankly called a press conference on 12th July 1974 to announce his retirement from football. He reportedly felt tired from all the years of management, and finally decided the time was right at the age of 60 years old.

However, whilst Shankly said goodbye to football, football would not say goodbye to him. Shankly would regularly visit Melwood to watch the LFC players training, then managed by Bob Paisley. He would also often attend Manchester United and Everton games, and praised the clubs for the warm welcome.

In honour of his football career, Bill was awarded an OBE in November 1974, attending Buckingham Palace with his wife, Nessie. Bill fell in love with the city of Liverpool as much as the city fell in love with him, so he and Nessie continued to live in their semi-detached house in the West Derby area, which was closely located to Everton’s training ground at Bellefield.

Tragically, Bill Shankly died on 29th September 1981 at the age of 68 years old, but his legacy lives on in the hearts of football fans across the world and at Liverpool FC.

Celebrate Bill Shankly’s Memory at The Shankly Hotel

The Shankly Hotel is a fitting tribute to one of football’s greatest managers. Offering spacious luxury rooms, a lively bar and restaurant and unseen memorabilia, The Shankly will bring the story of Bill Shankly to life during your stay.

To book your stay at The Shankly Hotel, give our team a call on 0151 601 8801 or email reservations@shanklyhotel.comtoday.

 

The 5 Greatest Football Managers in History

There are some football managers that should never be forgotten for their management skills, achievements and the general passion they brought to the game. For this reason, we take a look back at 5 of the greatest managers of all time.

Our top pick of the greatest football managers ever…

1. Bill Shankly

Bill Shankly was a remarkable manager due to his unrelenting passion for the game. After a lengthy career as a professional footballer, playing nearly 300 times in the league for Preston North End and seven times for his native Scotland, he knew the game like the back of his hand, if not better.

He was as honest as he was determined, and respected the fans more than the people that signed his pay cheque. One of his most notable management decisions was ensuring the LFC ground was renovated, whilst stripping out team’s average players to introduce talented footballers. He was inspiration to many both on and off the pitch, and changed how Liverpool FC played the game, taking them out of second division and making them champions.

2. Sir Matt Busby

Matt Busby was a phenomenal manager, and was the backbone of Manchester United between 1945 to 1969, returning again for the second half of the 1970-71 season. Despite his history as a football player at two of United’s biggest rivals, Liverpool FC and Manchester City, he went on to serve as the longest Manchester United manager in history, helping the team win the FA Cup in 1948 and the league championship in 1952.

3. Bob Paisley

Bob Paisley had a lot to live up to following Shankly’s departure from LFC, as it is fair to say the fans fell in love with the Scottish manager. However, Bob Paisley proved he was up to the task, as in 9 years as manager he helped the team take home six league titles, three European Clubs, one UEFA cup, three league cups, five Community shields and the UEFA Super Cup.

4. Brian Clough

Brian Clough sealed his fate as one of the country’s finest football managers when he pulled Derby County from Second Division to crown them Champions of England in 1973. Instead of riding high on one successful team, Clough helped pull another team out from Second Division, Nottingham Forest, helping the club win back-to-back European Cups.

5. Sir Alf Ramsey

Sir Alf Ramsey is one of the most successful England managers in history, helping the national team win the 1966 World Cup on 30th July 1966. However, he didn’t stop there, as he ensured the club came in thirds in the 1968 European Championship, and his guidance ensured England reached the quarter-final stage of the 1970 World Cup, as well as the 1972 European Championship.

Have you got a favourite football manager that’s not listed above? Tell us who your favourites are. We’d love to hear your thoughts.

Celebrate the life and legacy of Bill Shankly at The Shankly Hotel

greatest football managers

One of our stunning Shankly Suites

The Shankly Hotel is dedicated to celebrating the life and legacy of LFC’s greatest leader. A night at The Shankly isn’t a stay – it’s an experience. You can explore the stories of Shankly’s successes and his ethos in life inside our uniquely designed suites, which are all based around a quote or anecdote celebrating the legendary manager.

With unseen memorabilia throughout the hotel and spacious rooms equipped with luxury amenities including whirlpool baths, walk-in showers and flat-screen TVs, a night at The Shankly is the perfect present for any Liverpool fan looking to discover more about the Father of Liverpool FC.

We hope you enjoyed the our 5 greatest football managers ever and we look forward to welcoming you to The Shankly Hotel.

To book, call our friendly team on 0151 909 3635 or visit our booking page today. Make sure you check out our offers page for some incredible  packages as well.

 

Fish and Chips from the Chippy. Shanks’ Birthday’s were a very normal affair!

On Grandy’s 101st Birthday I thought it would be nice to bring you all a small snippet. The third installment from an interview with my mum Jeanette and daughter of Bill Shankly.

And there is no better occasion than to bring you a birthday related story. I simply asked the question;

“So what would a normal birthday occasion be like with Grandy?” to be told, “It depends if Liverpool were playing!”

That gives you some idea of what life must have been like with Shanks as your dad. His commitment to Liverpool football club unwavering as ever; but I did manage to glean some extra info from mum via persistence. “So what if Liverpool weren’t playing and he was at home with the family?”

Bill Shankly and family

The response was that it was all rather a normal affair. “We’d just sit with him and take him his presents and cards.” And what do you get the man who has everything (her phrase not mine). “The last present we ever got him for a birthday was a special posh case that contained high end items for cleaning and polishing your shoes. He was obsessed with his shoes being clean and polished and wouldn’t accept anything less, so naturally he was pleased with the gift.”

Following the giving of presents, would the family go out for a posh meal to some swanky restaurant?

Hardly. Mum advises that either Nan would cook or even more so, they would go to the much loved local Chippy on Eaton Road. “He loved our local chippy so we usually just went there and got Fish and Chips. He wasn’t a fussy eater so would get a variety of things whenever we went there. He’d usually send one of the son in law’s down to get it; but more often than not would head down himself; in the car! (see previous blogs to qualify my use of the exclamation mark).”

“Every now and then we would go out to eat but there were only a few places he would go when eating out with one in particular his favourite.”

You’ll have to wait for future blogs and the tour to find out that well known Liverpool location!

Happy Birthday Grandy.

XXX

The Five Most Iconic Shankly Images

When you hear the words Bill Shankly, various images spring to mind. These images are what capture him as the powerful, determined, and loved manager of Liverpool who is still etched in our memories today.
Here are just five of our favourites, which we think shows Shanks’ passion for the beautiful game.

Bill Shankly leads out the Liverpool side for the FA cup final. 7th May 1974.
In this game, Liverpool lost to Arsenal during extra time.
Bill is smartly dressed in his tie and collar, even on a hot day. He has his hand on his heart and a Liverpool football club badge on his lapel.

Shankly looking straight into the camera, looking thoroughly self-assured and you can just imagine how the players must have been so inspired having a man such as him leading them out!

Liverpool manager Bill Shankly rejoices with the Kop after Liverpool secured the football league championship with a draw against Leicester City at Anfield on 27th April 1973.
With his LFC scarf on and fists out, the spectators at the ground reach out to him like some sort of managerial demigod.

This really sums up what Shanks was about, he was in it for the fans and wanted to make them happy most of all.

Shankly leads out Preston North End in 1948, a year before he left the club.
He went straight into management after his playing career was over, despite feeling like he had more to give. He firstly went to Carlisle, and then with Grimsby, Workington and Huddersfield.
It was when he joined Liverpool as their manager in 1959 that his legend really began to take shape.

This is Bill during his time managing at Huddersfield FC.
Rumour has it that, he was always up for playing football with Dads and lads on the park somewhere in Huddersfield town. The local press must have learned of this and went to watch and took photographs. There’s Shankly going up for a header and you can be sure that whatever side he was playing on, they would keep going until his team won!

Shanks revels in the ambience of The Kop after losing to Arsenal in the 1971 FA Cup Final.
Despite the score, the Reds came back to the city to an incredible homecoming.
The supporters were all cheering and showing their support for Shankly and his players. Steve Hale stood on St George’s plateau and was amongst a bunch of other photographers who called out to Bill Shankly to turn around and face them. Then a succession of images that terminated with this one.

 

Tweet us your favourite Shanks photo, or post it on our Facebook page.
Don’t forget to keep up to date with our regular blogs!

Bill Shankly: A Timeline of Events

Shankly’s life was an interesting one to say the least. From being born in Glenbuck, to living in Liverpool as an honourary Scouser till the end.
Here’s a timeline of important events during Shankly’s 68 year life and beyond!

The early years

02.09.1913 – William Shankly is born in Glenbuck, Scotland.

1931 – He plays football for his local team in Ayrshire, Cronberry Eglinton.

1932 – Shankly moves south where he joins Carlisle United in Third Division North.

July 1933 – After a remarkable season for Carlisle Shankly signs for 2nd division Preston North End. Preston was soon promoted as Shankly’s career flourished.

Young Shankly

09.04.1938 – Shankly was selected to play for his country, Scotland for the first time, playing against England in a 1-0 win at Wembley.

30.04.1938 – Shankly’s highlight as player when Preston wins the FA Cup by beating Huddersfield.

29.06.1944 – Bill marries Agnes “Nessie” Fisher

From player to manager

22.03.1949 – Despite feeling he had more to offer as a player, 35-year-old Shankly took the manager’s job at Carlisle United.

June 1951 – Grimsby’s board felt Shankly was the right man to revive the club that had dropped from Division 1 to regional football in Division 3.

1951 – Liverpool interview Shankly for the vacant manager’s job at Liverpool.

06.01.1954 – Shankly moves down the ranking in Third Division North, but saving Workington from destruction is a commendable challenge.

05.11.1956 – Takes over as manager of Huddersfield after coaching their reserves for 11 months.

01.12.1959 – Liverpool appoint Bill Shankly as Phil Taylor’s successor in the managerial seat.

Shankly arrives at LFC

14.12.1959 – Shankly takes officially over at Liverpool after finishing his occupancy at Huddersfield.

19.12.1959 – Shankly is in control of his first Liverpool game, but it’s a long way from a perfect start as Liverpool lose 0-4 to Cardiff.

21.04.1962 – After seven years in the 2nd division, Liverpool are promoted with five League games remaining!

18.04.1964 – Liverpool win the championship for the sixth time in their history after a 17 year wait with an impressive 5-0 win vs Arsenal at Anfield.

01.05.1965 – Liverpool win the FA Cup for the first time in the club’s history. Shankly added that it was his finest moment at Liverpool.

12.05.1965 – Liverpool knocked out of the semi-finals in the club’s inaugural season in the European Cup. After a sensational 3-1 win at Anfield in the first leg, Inter beat the Reds 0-3 in Italy after bribing the referee!

30.04.1966 – Liverpool close their second League title under Shankly by beating Chelsea 2-1 at Anfield.

08.05.1971 – Liverpool lose 1-2 to Arsenal in the FA Cup – Shankly delivers the famous Chairman Mao speech.

08.07.1971 – Shankly agrees a new three-year contract with Liverpool which became his last.

23.04.1973 – After 7 years deprived of a title, Liverpool win the championship by beating Leeds 2-0 at Anfield.

23.05.1973 – Liverpool beat Gladbach 3-2 on aggregate in the UEFA Cup final, almost conceding their 3-0 lead from Anfield.

1973 – Bill voted Manager of the year, the only time in his career!

Bill Shankly Memorabilia

04.05.1974 – One of the most one-sided FA Cup finals in history when Liverpool annihilates Newcastle 3-0 at Wembley.

The shock announcement

12.07.1974 – The football world and the whole of Liverpool are stunned when Bill Shankly announces that he is retiring as Liverpool’s manager.

10.08.1974 – Shankly is given the honour of leading Liverpool out at Wembley vs Leeds in the Charity Shield despite retiring in the summer.

12.08.1974 – Bill Shankly legitimately terminates his ‘reign’ as manager of the Reds in Billy McNeill’s testimonial in front of 60,000 people at Celtic Park.

29.04.1975 – Shankly’s testimonial against a Don Revie Select XI – an emotional night at Anfield.

25.05.1977 – Shankly was in attendance when Liverpool won its first ever European Cup in Rome.

The loss of a great man

29.09.1981 – Shankly passes away. Bill suffered a cardiac arrest after battling for life since a heart attack early on Saturday morning. He had been making good progress until his condition deteriorated.

30.09.1981 – Liverpool face Finnish European Cup opponents, Oulu Palloseura, at Anfield. Reds won 7-0 and for the whole of second half the Kop sang Shankly’s name to the tune of Amazing Grace.
A banner in the crowd reads “King Shankly lives”.

03.10.1981 – Bob Paisley and John Toshack lead out their teams at Anfield in the league. Tosh, who was now the manager of Swansea, created quite a stir among the Swansea faithful when he revealed a Liverpool shirt underneath his Swansea tracksuit when Shankly was remembered before the game.

22.11.1981 – “A Service of Thanksgiving for the life of Bill Shankly” held at Liverpool Cathedral.

A series of tributes

26.08.1982 – Shankly Gates unlocked by Bill’s widow, Nessie.

27.04.1997 – The Shankly memorial is erected – a fitting tribute in his hometown, Glenbuck.

04.12.1997 – The statue of Shankly in front of the Kop is unveiled.

June 1998 – Preston North’s End ground was replaced by a new stand named the “Bill Shankly Kop”, designed with different coloured seats providing an image of the great man’s head and shoulders.

18.12.1999 – A mosaic on the Kop to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Bill Shankly’s arrival at Anfield.

02.08.2002 – Nessie Shankly passes away, 82 years of age.

2002 – Bill Shankly is introduced to the English Football Hall of Fame due to his impact on the English game as a manager.

08.11.2004 – Bill is introduced to the Scottish Football Association’s Hall of Fame.

01.12.2009 – 50th anniversary since he signed his contract to become manager of Liverpool Football Club.

16.12.2009 – A “SHANKS LEGEND” mosaic was unveiled on the Kop prior to kick off.

17.12.2009 – Shankly is awarded an Honorary Citizenship of Liverpool in recognition of the 50th anniversary of his arrival as manager of Liverpool FC and his dedication to Merseyside.

May 2014 – A Shankly themed hotel and museum is unveiled by Shankly’s family and Signature Living.

What was your favourite Shankly moment?

Let us know on Facebook or Twitter! Credit to www.shankly.com for providing the timeline dates.

5 Bill Shankly Stories You Must Read

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.

10 Things You Need to Know About Bill Shankly

When it comes to football managers, you’d be hard pushed to find better than Bill Shankly. However, there are so many things we don’t know about the Scottish footballer and manager, which is why we’ve taken the liberty to provide 10 facts about the man himself.

1. Wullie

While many know William Shankly as “Bill”, his family would refer to him as Willie – which is pronounced “Wullie”.

2. Footballing Family

Speaking of Bill’s family, all five of the Shankly brothers were professional footballers. Alec played for Ayr United; Jimmy played for Sheffield United and Southend United; John played for Portsmouth and then Luton Town, whilst Bob was a player for Alloa Athletic and Falkirk FC.

3. Preston North End

Shankly played at Preston North End for 17 years. However, he nearly never signed to the club, as they only offered him a personal fee of £50, plus a signing-on fee of £10 and just £5 wages per week. His brother, Alec, persuaded him to consider Preston as they were a Second Division Club with the potential to regain First status.

4. The Art of Tackling

In his autobiography, Shankly stated that he “specialised in the art of tackling”, and even went as far to say it was an art-form due to its timing. He was, however, an honest player. Proudly claiming that he was “never sent off the field or had name in a referee’s book”.

5. The Referees

Bill Shankly refused to argue with referees. He had learnt a lot about football from his brothers, and was aware that arguing with referees was a waste of time as the referee “always wins in the end”.

6. WWII

Shankly had recently celebrated his 26th birthday when World War II began, and he joined the Royal Air Force. However, the war claimed his peak years on the pitch, as he served in the RAF for seven years. However, he still managed to squeeze in some time for football, as he played in various wartime league, exhibition and cup matches for Arsenal, Luton Town, Norwich City and Partick Thistle. He even played a single game for Liverpool in a 4-1 win over Everton.

7. RAF Boxer

Shankly was a keen sportsmen, and even fought as a middleweight during his service, winning a trophy when stationed in Manchester.

8. The Rise from Second Division

Bill Shankly changed the face of Liverpool forever. When he became manager in 1959, he fought to take LFC from second division to make them one of the best clubs in the world. Not only did he strip out the team, but he insisted the club improve the Anfield ground from its disrepair, as they had no means of watering the pitch.

9. Psychology

Bill knew that there was more to the game than physical training, and would use psychology to encourage his own players, whilst raising doubts in his opponents’ minds. He once told Kevin Keegan that Bobby Moore was hungover from the night before. As a result, Kevin Keegan had an outstanding performance, only for Bill to tell him that Moore was a brilliant player that day and that he would “never play against anyone better than him”.

10. English Football Hall of Fame

In 2002, Bill Shankly was made an inaugural inductee of the English Football Hall of Fame, which celebrates the achievements of the finest English footballing talents. It therefore recognised the impact he had on the game as a manager.

Have you got a favourite Bill Shankly fact? Share it with us. We’d love to hear it!

10 Superb Quotes on Bill Shankly

Bill Shankly is a football icon, and an inspiration to football fans, managers and players across the world. We therefore we’d take a look back at some of the best quotes about the legend.

1. George Best

George Best, former Manchester United Winger, once said:

“Bill Shankly, like Matt Busby, was a canny Scot who was never lost for words. I liked him a great deal and I know he liked me. I respected his knowledge of the game and loved his keen wit, which was as sharp as legend has it”.

2. Bob Paisley

Bob Paisley was a member of the Liverpool coaching staff, working alongside Bill Shankly when he managed Liverpool FC. He was Shankly’s successor in the role upon his retirement in 1974. Here’s what Bob had to say about his friend Bill:

“You had to learn from Bill. He was football crazy, and I mean crazy. He was fanatical, like no-one else I met. If I had to sum up Bill’s effect on Anfield it’s quite simple that he got the whole thing going. We were nothing before he came, and look at us now. He’s very sadly missed”.

3. Ian St John

Ian St John, a former Preston North End player, spoke of Shankly:

“You have never met anybody with more drive and enthusiasm for football. His special ingredient was his love of the game. Other managers may have hobbies – they might play gold – but his hobby was football”.

4. Chris Lawler

Chris Lawler, a former Liverpool footballer, spoke of Bill:

“He thought the fans were important. For the big games, we would be asking for tickets as player and he would give them to the fans instead”.

5. Rafa Benitez

Former Liverpool manager spoke of how Shankly’s spirit was very much alive at the club:

“When people talk about the “Liverpool Way”, it was always to win. We try to do this and that is our priority if possible. We try to do things properly, like Shankly did”.

6. Kevin Keegan

Former England player Kevin Keegan spoke of how Bill Shankly’s managerial outlook:

“Bill gave everyone connected with the club great belief and principles. Everyone counted for something, whether you were the kitman or you cut the grass. I played for a lot of good managers but none were in the same country, let along the same street, as Bill”.

7. Brendan Rodgers

The current Liverpool manager, Brendan Rodgers, reflects on Shankly’s legacy:

“When you take the job of manager of this great sporting institution, you are fully aware that you are following in the footsteps of true giants. There is no-one more fitting of the phrase ‘greatness’ than Bill Shankly, and his influence is as strong today as it has ever been”.

8. Geoff Twentyman

One of Bill Shankly’s players at Carlisle United spoke of his manager’s attitude towards his players:

“Shankly was a strict disciplinarian. He was always up-to-date on any player’s misbehaviour. If he head that players were womanising or drinking, he’d down on them like a ton of bricks”.

9. Jimmy Jackson

Jimmy Jackson, a former Carlisle United player, talked about Shankly’s love for the game:

“The Shankly brand of enthusiasm made you feel there was no team in the country that you were not able to match”.

10. Ian Callaghan

Ian Callaghan, a former LFC player, spoke of how Shankly would have approached modern-day football:

“I have often heard the theory that Shanks would not have been able to cope in an era when players earn £100,000 a week. I don’t agree. He knew how to handle footballers because it was in his blood”

Have you heard a better quote about Shanks? We want to hear it, so drop us a comment below.

40th anniversary of Shankly’s LFC retirement

12th July 1974: The date the Godfather of the Kop, Bill Shankly, announced his retirement.

The Unexpected

Nobody knew what to expect when a sudden press conference was called by John Smith, the club’s chairman at the time.
As the press filtered in with their notepads, cameras, and Dictaphones at the ready, there wasn’t a buzz of excitement. Unlike a usual event of this kind there was instead a dullness in the air.

A pin drop could be heard when Smith stepped up to make his opening statement:

“It is with great regret that I as chairman of Liverpool Football Club have to inform you that Mr Shankly has intimated that he wishes to retire from active participation in league football. And the board has with extreme reluctance accepted his decision. I would like to at this stage to place on record the board’s great appreciation of Shankly’s magnificent achievements over the period of his managership.”

Shankly agreed to a three-year contract with Liverpool Football Club during the signing of his last contract in July 1971. He was then offered the option of having it extended to five years. When the three year mark was met, Smith asked if he would like to continue for two more years. Shankly declined.

Speculations

It was widely speculated as to why he refused to stay those two more years. Even those closest to him like his wife and Bob Paisley had their own theories regarding the subject.

Conclusions were drawn that former England captain Emlyn Hughes once asked Bill why he chose to retire. Shanks said “I’m going to tell you the reason why I left” but his small grandchild came running in, and he got sidetracked. Emlyn never found out.

Without realising it or not, Hughes actually got the truthful answer to his question. Bill became anxious to spend more time with Nessie, his children, and his grandchildren.

In his autobiography, Shankly mentions his decision to retire. He says:

“After the FA Cup Final I went into the dressing room and I felt tired from all the years. I said to a bloke who was looking after the dressing room, ‘Get me a cup of tea and a couple of pies, for Christ’s sake.’ When I sat down with my tea and pies, my mind was made up. If we had lost the final I would have carried on, but I thought, ‘Well, we’ve won the Cup now and maybe it’s a good time to go.’ I knew I was going to finish.”

Regrets

Rumour has it almost immediately after resigning, Bill thoroughly regretted his decision. By the time the new football season came around, Shanks was back at Melwood FC, training with the players, enjoying the camaraderie and the chance to put his boots on again. Some players were calling him ‘boss’ and treating him as equally as their real manager Bob Paisley, to his annoyance.

“I wasn’t feeling ill or anything like that, but I felt though that if I was away from the pressures of Anfield for a while, and rested, it would make me fitter and rejuvenate me. I felt I could contribute more later on. I would never leave the city of Liverpool, and still wanted to be involved in football. I still wanted to help Liverpool, because the club the club had become my life. But I wasn’t given the chance.”

The retirement was a clean break between LFC and Shankly, to both side’s disappointment. However living close to Everton’s training ground, Bill would often call in and join in the training sessions, proving that many of his cutting comments about Liverpool’s city opponents were no more than harmless shots to fabricate a sense of bitter rivalry.

Shanks spent his first Saturday afternoon in retirement watching Everton Vs Derby County as the club’s special guest, and was met by a rapturous applause by the Goodison crowd.

He would talk to anyone about football and go anywhere to put his boots on again. Simply because, he just loved the game.
To him, the beautiful game was just that.