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Shankly Family Story: Paint spillage and ripping out apple trees!

Posted on 15.08.2014

The second installment of my interview with my mum,  Jeanette Shankly.

A entertaining follow up from the extremely popular ‘Shankly the Driver’ article published a few weeks back.

Here we will talk about what Shanks was like round the house and how he handled DIY.

It may come as no shock at all to many of you, having read ‘Shankly the Driver’, that his disastrous skills were not exclusively poor behind the wheel. They also but extended to his home improvement skills too.

Mum happily conveys that Grandy did not feel that because he ran one of the biggest football clubs in the world he should be excused from domestic chores. Far from it. Instead he keenly put himself forward as the man of the house when it came to maintenance and repair.

No use crying over spilled paint

Sadly his enthusiasm wasn’t met with the same level of quality finish.

“He was poor at DIY and home related chores. On one occasion he attempted to paint the loft cover and ended up spilling the entire contents of the can of paint down the stairs.

We had the front garden wall re-pointed one day; and when he came home; he saw that the pavement and path was a bit messy from the job that had been done. He got out the hose to clean it all down; but sprayed the wall itself and washed out all of the re-pointing that had just been freshly done.

When we first moved to Bellefield, your Nanny Ness picked out which wallpaper she wanted for each room; but he ended up putting the wrong paper up in the wrong rooms!”

Greenfingers Shankly

It seems also; that his domestic mishaps weren’t just related to general DIY, but also apparent in the garden.

“He loved the garden and again; tried to help out. He cut the grass quite often and that was fine, but there were other times when his ability to come a cropper came about.

Your Nan would often plant bedding plants and flowers; but he would come along and end up either ripping them out or cutting them down as he thought they were weeds!

On one occasion, we came home to find he had cut out an entire apple tree thinking is was nothing more than a weed!”

Like grandfather like grandson

Hearing such stories about Grandy from mum brings a smile to my face, as well as hers. It is lovely to see her remembering such instances so fondly. Naturally this brings her to the extensive comparisons between Grandy and I which everyone has always made, with us being extremely similar.

You will all recall in a former blog on here, the story where mum found me cleaning the cooker after we had lost to Leeds at Anfield some years ago. Mum recounted the story saying she was shocked and felt she’d seen the ghost of Grandy in the kitchen as when Liverpool lost, he too came home and cleaned the cooker (something I hadn’t known at the time!).

It has to be said that I am something of an obsessively clean person, especially round the house, with a slight touch of OCD some may say. It comes as no surprise therefore that mum relays to me that Grandy was

“Immaculate round the house, and nothing was ever out of order.”

Mend and make do

As we come to the end of the conversation; she recalls another story fondly that pops into her head. Grandy’s dad was a tailor and made suits and other clothing. Therefore Grandy also had an aptitude for this sort of thing and was skilled with a needle and thread.

The problem however was that he may have been too skilled.

Mum recalls,

“He could sew really well as his dad had taught him how to when he was little, but he had a knack for sewing stuff too tight, especially buttons. It would be that bad that you actually couldn’t fasten anything. He bought me a brand new leather jacket and took it upon himself to give the buttons a bit of a once over. I couldn’t wear it after that as it wouldn’t fasten!”


Christopher William Shankly Carline