The Shankly Hotel on Victoria Street, Liverpool, is one of the best hotels in the city. Offering guests and visitors a chance to admire the life and times of Bill Shankly while surrounded by luxury furnishings and impeccable service, every time. Now, the Shankly reach is extending further with the announcement of The Shankly Hotel Preston.
Following the huge success of The Shankly Hotel in Liverpool, we have now announced plans to transform the Old Post Office in Preston into a new luxury hotel dedicated to the great Bill Shankly. Formerly intended to be named The Harris Hotel after Preston’s greatest benefactor, Edmund Robert Harris, the new direction for the hotel will honour the special relationship Shankly built with Preston and its people during his career at Preston North End.
The £15 million project will once again be a collaboration between the Shankly family and Signature Living to highlight and commemorate Bill Shankly’s iconic footballing career. The Shankly Hotel Preston will stand as a beacon for football fans, Preston natives and tourists, bringing together the historic building and a Preston legend into one incredible, luxury hotel. Preston is a fantastic location with so much to do and see and we are looking forward to making our mark on the city.
Bill Shankly’s History in Preston
Bill Shankly began his relationship with Preston in the July of 1933 when he signed for Preston North End. After a season playing professionally at Carlisle United, with 16 appearances for the Northern team, Shankly was approached by Preston North End who had offered a transfer fee of £500.
Although he began his career at Preston in the reserves, they were still placed in a league of a higher standard than his former club, Carlisle United. It wasn’t long until he made his first team debut though, taking to the pitch on 9th December 1933, just three months after the Glenbuck lad turned 20. Preston North End dominated this game, winning 5-0 after Shankly created an early goal.
While at Preston, Shankly helped the team gain promotion to the First Division from Second and was present for some of Preston North End’s greatest achievements. Reaching the FA Cup Final in 1937 and 1938 and winning the latter against Huddersfield Town with a 1-0 penalty in the final minute of extra time. That same year, the team also finished third in the league marking the most successful season of Shankly’s playing career.
Despite joining the RAF during the Second World War, Shankly continued to play the game he loved so much. Participating in seven wartime internationals and appearing for other teams, namely Liverpool and Arsenal, while times were hard.
When the war was over, Shankly returned to Preston, but he was 33 years old and coming to the end of his playing career. He remained at Preston until he retired from playing in 1949. While he immediately took up the position of Carlisle United’s manager, he never turned his back on the team where he spent most of his professional playing career.
Family Support for The Shankly Hotel Preston
Just like the iconic Shankly Hotel in Liverpool, The Shankly Hotel Preston will be developed in partnership with Shankly’s Grandson. Chris Carline is co owner, curator and director of the Liverpool site and he’s excited to take the Shankly concept to a whole new city.
“Preston was a natural fit, it is the next place that resonates greatly with Bill Shankly and the family. He played for Preston for 16 years and in that respect spent a large part of his life there.
He loved the club and the people, and they loved him. There are so many tributes to him at Deepdale, like The Bill Shankly Kop.
Preston is a great city with some amazing buildings and none more so than the future Shankly Hotel in Preston.”
Both Chris Carline and Lawrence Kenwright knew that, if there was going to be a second Shankly Hotel, the first choice would be Preston. The Shankly Hotel Preston development is the first stage in rolling The Shankly out nationally and hopefully internationally.
Read more from our interview with Chris Carline here.
The Shankly Hotel Preston’s Future
The Liverpool site is all about the atmosphere and guest experience, giving incredible service, amazing accommodation, unforgettable events and an unparalleled drinking and dining experience and these high standards are set to be mirrored at The Shankly Hotel Preston.
Despite the similarities in name and theme, the hotel will have its own unique look and feel and will elaborate further on the varied and exciting life that Shankly led.
In Liverpool, Bill Shankly is known for helping transform the floundering Liverpool Football Club into the ambitious and successful force it is today. In Preston, he was known as a star player who helped North End on their way to greatness and The Shankly Hotel Preston will help to tell this story.
The former post office building in Preston is 114 years old and a Grade II listed building and will soon be transformed into a luxurious 65 room boutique hotel, following the same brand and format of the original hotel in Liverpool with luxurious rooms, an opulent bar and restaurant, a Shankly museum and a wedding and events venue.
The Shankly Hotel Preston is due to open to the public in September and we couldn’t be more excited. Stay up to date with progress and construction on our dedicated The Shankly Hotel Preston page and our Twitter.