How the Remote Scottish Village where Bill Shankly Grew Up Shaped His Career

In Liverpool, Bill Shankly’s name brings to mind the glory and success of his managerial years at Liverpool FC so you might be surprised to discover that the Liverpool Legend grew up in a remote and poverty-stricken village in Scotland called Glenbuck.

Known amongst fans as Shankly’s lost village, Glenbuck is the birthplace and childhood home of the world-class manager who steered Liverpool FC to three English league wins, two FA Cups and a UEFA victory.

The former football legend was born in the remote East Ayrshire village on September 2nd 1913. One of 10 children, Bill Shankly was the second youngest child.

The iconic football manager had a modest upbringing, claiming that he didn’t have a proper bath until he was 15 and that he would regularly steal turnips for boiling and eating.

But it was this tough upbringing that shaped Shankly’s humble attitude to the beautiful game and grounded his ethos and values in equality and fair-play.

The Village of Glenbuck: Home of Footballers

Glenbuck

For most of Glenbuck’s history, it had only two exports: coal and footballers.

Glenbuck was a struggling coal mine village in the 19th and 20th centuries. Residents lived under constant threat of mine closure as the coal steam began to run out.

By the end of the 1930s, the pit mines had closed. In the late 1990s, the old mine was converted into a open-cast mine, which saw the destruction of many of the homes in the village.

But this tiny village in the Scottish hills also produced 50 footballers who went on to play professionally – an impressive figure for a village whose population never exceeded 1,700.

Alongside Bill Shankly, other renowned footballers to come from this small Scottish settlement included four English FA Cup winners, five full internationals and 50 professionals.

Bill’s uncle Bob Blyth who played for Rangers, Preston North, and Portsmouth respectively also heralded from the village. Alex Tait, a Tottenham Hotspur player when the club won the FA cup in 1901, was also Glenbuck born and bred.

Bill Shankly’s Football Experiences in Glenbuck

Glenbuck

Source: Wikimedia Commons

According to former inhabitants of the tiny village, football and mining went hand-in-hand in Glenbuck. When the mine was open, it was normal for the workers to have a game every night after finishing in the pits. The football pitch, Burnside Park, was only a short walk away from the mines.

When Bill Shankly left school he worked in the mine with his brother Robert for 2 years before it closed.

Appearing on the TV Show ‘This is Your Life’ in 1973 with her brother, Bill Shankly’s sister Netta reminisced about the antics the Shankly brothers used to get up. The five brothers would blow up balloons and kick them around the cramped quarters of their childhood home, often breaking vases and sideboards as they went.

Glenbuck’s local team was called the Glenbuck Cherrypickers, but the team folded before Shankly was old enough to play for them.

Instead he played for Cronberry, a semi-professional junior team located 12 miles away from the village. It was here that Shankly was scouted for Carlisle United, kick-starting his footballing career.

Professional footballers like Shankly were part of the fabric of the village, and this might be why so many successful players were raised in the village. Many of the footballers continued to socialise with younger players, encouraging their sporting efforts.

The Community of Glenbuck

Glenbuck

Source: Shutterstock

According to former residents of the Scottish village, the mining settlement had a collective attitude to life and were happy to help any family in need. This was later reflected in Shankly’s humble attitude on the pitch, and his belief in playing as a team and not as a group of individuals.

After his pitch-side success, Bill Shankly used return to Glenbuck and often joined in games with local youngsters. According to former residents, he often asked how families were getting on, before kindly gifting them financial support.

The family atmosphere of the village must have rubbed off on the LFC legend as Bill Shankly’s family was always important to him. Just before his death he said: “There’s nobody closer to you than your own kith and kin; your own blood. I’ve got my wife, my daughters, grandchildren, and my sons in law. They’re the closest to me and I would die for them”.

Today, an LFC supporter’s group called the Spirit of Shankly are dedicated to keeping the legacy and values of their hero relevant to the club. Their grassroots activism aims to represent the best interests of Liverpool fans on a local and international level, in keeping with Bill Shankly’s values on community and support. In 2015 they made a trip up to Glenbuck to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Liverpool’s first historic FA Cup win.

The Future of Glenbuck

The village of Glenbuck is currently uninhabited, but there are plans to revive the birthplace of the renowned Liverpool Legend.

Schemes are in discussion to restore the historic football field, establish a museum in the area and even reinstate the once mighty local team, the Glenbuck Cherrypickers.

A charitable football academy has been set up in the village’s name which trains young players in Douglas, South Lanarkshire (one of Scotland’s most deprived areas).

The mine is likely to become a centre for research and education due to its unique geological exposure according to the Scottish Mines Restoration Trust.

Unsurprisingly, the largest number of visitors to Glenbuck are Liverpool supporters visiting the ‘lost village’ of their club legend. Nestled on the roadside in the village is a simple memorial to Bill Shankly, ‘The Legend, The Genius, The Man’.

Dedicated fans can also travel to Muirkirk Heritage Park a short distance away to see the larger memorial unveiled by LFC legends, Alan Kennedy and Roy Evans, in 2014.

Celebrate Bill Shankly’s Memory at The Shankly Hotel

Glenbuck

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.com today and head over to our Facebook for more details. 

A Brief History of Liverpool and the Champions League

It’s been 39 years since Liverpool played FC Bayern Munich in the old European Cup. Liverpool, of course, went on to beat Real Madrid in the final in Paris that year in the wondrous Parc des Princes. Although this year’s final takes place in the ultra-modern Wanda Metropolitano Stadium in Madrid, the objective remains the same.

So, with this in mind, we’ve decided to take a closer look at Liverpool’s historic, almost mystical relationship with the Champions League.

1977 – Liverpool vs Borussia Mönchengladbach

Champions League

Source: Wikipedia Commons

Final Score: 3-1

Stadium: Stadio Olimpico

When these two teams met in the final in Rome their paths to the Stadio Olimpico couldn’t have been more dissimilar. Liverpool had won their matches with relative ease while Udo Lattek’s men, on the other hand, had scraped their way to Rome. The ’77 final took place in The Eternal City only four days after Liverpool had lost the FA Cup Final to Manchester United at Wembley.

Liverpool’s 3-1 win was the first time the club became European Champions, however, had it not been for their arch-rivals Manchester United, they would have also been the first team to win the treble; a feat United achieved 22 years later.

1978 – Liverpool vs Club Brugge

Final Score: 1-0

Stadium: Wembley

Liverpool returned to the competition, on home soil, as champions in 1978 and faced first-time finalists Club Brugge – a team they had already defeated in the UEFA Cup Final in ’76. The final was a tense affair, yet the Reds broke the deadlock in the second half with a strike that went on to be known as one of the best in European history.

Liverpool won the match 1-0 and became the first team in history to retain the European Cup. They did, however, lose the Super Cup to Anderlecht later in the year.

1981 – Liverpool vs Real Madrid

Final Score: 1-0

Stadium: Parc des Prince

Another year, and another final. On this occasion, Liverpool faced Real Madrid in the Parc des Prince. Liverpool and Los Blancos couldn’t be separated until the 81st minute when Alan Kennedy found the back of the net. The Red’s held on until the final whistle and won their third European Cup.

Bob Paisley mirrored Liverpool’s success that year as he became the first man to win three consecutive European Cups with one team.

Not for the first time had one strike secured Liverpool the trophy.

1984 – Liverpool vs Roma

Final Score: 1-1 (aet)

Stadium: Stadio Olimpico

Seasoned European champions by this point, their fourth European Cup final saw Liverpool take on Roma in the Stadio Olimpico in The Eternal City.

Liverpool had won their matches with relative ease on their way to the final, while Roma’s journey was littered with controversy. It had been rumoured that the Italian’s had bribed the referee in the semi-final versus Dundee United.

Despite Liverpool’s past performances, Roma were the favourites to win. Indeed, the match went to penalties.

Liverpool won 4-2 on penalties, however, the star of the show was Bruce Grobbelaar who famously wobbled his limbs throughout the shootout. The South African ultimately set a precedent that would win Liverpool their 5th Champions League 21 years later.

2005 – Liverpool vs AC Milan

Final Score: 3-3 (aet)

Stadium : Atatürk Stadium

Liverpool barely scraped through the knock out rounds of the 2004/5 Champions League.

After seeing off European competition in the knock out stages, Liverpool faced Chelsea in the semi-finals and scored what was dubbed the “ghost goal” by Chelsea manager José Mourinho, a strike that gave Liverpool a 1-0 lead to take them through to their sixth Champions League final.

They would be facing six-time European Champions AC Milan, who were favourites to win and were quickly leading the match 3-0 before halftime.

Liverpool pulled off one of their extraordinary comebacks in this all-important match and went on to score 3 goals in under six minutes.

The match went to penalties. Liverpool triumphed thanks to a save from goalkeeper Jerzy Dudek against Andriy Shevchenko. Dudek famously imitated Grobbelaar’s goalkeeping style throughout the shootout.

The game was nicknamed “The Miracle of Istanbul” and lasts long in the memory of many Liverpool fans as one of the best matches they’ve ever witnessed. And, because this was the 5th time Liverpool had won the Champions League, they were allowed to keep the trophy.

We Were the Champions

Liverpool went on to face AC Milan again in the 2006/7 final but lost.

Old opponents Chelsea knocked Liverpool out of the running in both 2008 and 2009 and then, in 2010, Liverpool failed to qualify for the competition for the first time since 1999.

It wasn’t until 2015/16 that the team managed to get back to Europe’s top table and reached the Europa League semi-finals against Villarreal. The match sparked yet another comeback that saw Liverpool fight back from 1-0 down to win 3-1 on aggregate. After this win, Liverpool had once again made it into the final and went up against Sevilla at St. Jakob-Park in Basel but lost 3-1.

The Red’s went on to face Real Madrid in the 2017/18 Champions League final but lost 3-1.

The Champions League at The Shankly Hotel

Champions League

As they did 39 years ago, Liverpool have made it into the next round after a 3-1 win over Bayern Munich.

Moreover, at The Bastion Bar and Restaurant within The Shankly Hotel, every time Liverpool take to the field the action is screened on our enormous monitors, evoking an electric atmosphere that can’t be matched anywhere else.

Join us every matchday and enjoy exclusive prizes and in-play deals that recreate that winning feeling and get you in the party mood.

The Champions League Club even lets you earn loyalty points for every game you attend. In return, you’re provided with exclusive access to unbeatable rewards, be it weekend stays in our luxurious football-themed rooms or unprecedented access to unseen Liverpool merchandise.

So, whether you want to watch the match or book a stay in one of our spectacular football-themed rooms, our friendly team can’t wait to hear from you on 0151 236 0166 or email reservations@shanklyhotel.com. Also, follow us on Facebook for loads of Liverpool and hotel updates.

Commemorate the Anniversary of Shankly’s Death with 25 Incredible Quotes

Bill Shankly knew how to captivate an audience. He was a manager filled with enthusiasm, intensity and passion for the game. This, combined with his amazing team management, is what made him one of the most celebrated football managers in the world. It’s no wonder that Bill Shankly quotes have gone down in history as gospel for the beautiful game.

On 29 September, it will have been 37 years since we sadly lost the legendary leader. The former Liverpool manager, and one of the best-loved figures in British football, died on this day in 1981, after suffering a heart attack.

Shankly led LFC to become one of the most successful footballing sides our country has ever seen, bumping the team back into the First Division and helping them win three championships and two FA Cups.

But it wasn’t just on the pitch that Shankly led the way: he became just as famous for his eloquent way with words and his ability to capture the feeling of a city in a single sentence. To commemorate the anniversary of Shankly’s death, we’ve decided to look back at the 25 best-ever Bill Shankly quotes and celebrate the legendary manager’s lookout on life…

 

The 25 Best Bill Shankly Quotes

1. On the work-life balance…

Never one to shy away from teasing, Shankly often laughed about how his obsession with football impacted his family’s lives. His much-loved, and incredibly patient, wife Ness was looked upon as Liverpool’s first lady:

“Of course I didn’t take my wife to see Rochdale as an anniversary present. It was her birthday. Would I have got married in the football season? Anyway, it was Rochdale reserves.”

2. On dealing with referees…

Shankly, and his colleague Bob Paisley, were famously respectful of referees on and off the pitch. Former official Keith Hackett once noted that the two managers treated him like a gentleman, listing the two men in his 10 top football managers of all time. But that didn’t stop Shankly teasing the honorable profession every once in a while:

“The trouble with referees is that they know the rules, but they do not know the game.”

bill shankly quotes

3. On the best way to play…

Bill Shankly was famous for seeing hard work and dedication as the key ingredients for a successful team. He summed up tidily what he looked for in a player in the following quote:

“If a player is not interfering with play or seeking to gain an advantage, then he should be.”

4. On his vision for Liverpool FC…

There’s a reason The Shankly Hotel’s restaurant and bar is called The Bastion. It celebrates the legendary manager’s vision for Liverpool FC and his success in fulfilling that dream. The name was inspired by one of the most repeated Bill Shankly quotes:

“My idea was to build Liverpool into a bastion of invincibility. Had Napoleon had that idea he would have conquered the bloody world. I wanted Liverpool to be untouchable. My idea was to build Liverpool up and up until eventually everyone would have to submit and give in.”

5. On self-belief…

Football wasn’t about boots and balls to Bill Shankly. It was a mind-game and he knew all the rules:

“A lot of football success is in the mind. You must believe you are the best and make sure you are.”

6. On what makes a team…

Famously more interested in crafting a team than individual egos, Shankly often discussed the importance of group work over individual success, passed down in a number of renowned Bill Shankly quotes. That didn’t mean he couldn’t appreciate a good player when he saw one, though:

“A football team is like a piano. You need eight men to carry it and three who can play the damn thing.”

bill shankly quotes

7. On the holy-trinity of football…

We’ll never really know what Shankly would have made of big business football today, but we can guess. Often lauded as a socialist both on the pitch and off, Shankly dismissed money men as being cogs in the wheel of the game and put his trust elsewhere:

“At a football club, there’s a holy trinity – the players, the manager and the supporters. Directors don’t come into it. They are only there to sign the cheques”

8. On the age-old Merseyside Derby…

After beating Everton in the 1971 FA Cup semi-final, Shankly took the opportunity to take part in one of his favourite activities – relishing in Liverpool’s dominance over the Blues. Never one to shy away from laughing at the Toffees, a number of the Bill Shankly quotes on this list show his mischievous side:

“Sickness would not have kept me away from this one. If I’d been dead, I would have had them bring the casket to the ground, prop it up in the stands and cut a hole in the lid.”

9. On his pride for the city of Liverpool…

Shankly might have been born a Scot but Liverpool was his home and he made that very clear to his loyal fans:

“Although I’m a Scot, I’d be proud to be called a Scouser.”

10. On the simplicity of the sport…

“Football is a simple game based on the giving and taking of passes, of controlling the ball and of making yourself available to receive a pass. It is terribly simple.”

bill shankly quotes

11. On why winning was the only option…

Hard work was important to Shankly, but simply taking part didn’t count in his book. It was all or nothing for the father of Liverpool football:

“If you are first you are first. If you are second you are nothing.”

12. On keeping yourself grounded…

Despite Liverpool topping the league, and Shankly earning global acclaim, the famous manager never let the glory go to his head. In one of the lesser-known Bill Shankly quotes, we see how his childhood shaped his outlook on life:

“Pressure is working down the pit. Pressure is having no work at all. Pressure is trying to escape relegation on 50 shillings a week. Pressure is not the European Cup or the Championship or the Cup Final. That’s the reward.”

13. On hard work…

Shankly’s belief in putting your head down and working hard was revealed in a short interview caught on film, where he connected the ideals he’d learnt in the armed forces with his footballing work ethic:

“No football club is ever successful without hard work. If everyone thinks along these lines and does the small jobs to the best of their ability, then the world will be better.”

14. On the ‘This is Anfield’ plaque installation…

Shankly was the manager that installed the now-iconic ‘This is Anfield’ plaque at the Liverpool grounds during his tenure. The below sentence is one of those Bill Shankly quotes that perfectly sums up why Shankly strove for success at Anfield and who he dedicated it to:

“This is to remind our lads who they’re playing for, and to remind the opposition who they’re playing against.”

15. On being the best…

For Bill, playing football was about winning all or nothing, and the best way to get there was to believe:

“A lot of football success is in the mind. You must believe you are the best and then make sure that you are. In my time at Anfield we always said we had the best two teams on Merseyside, Liverpool and Liverpool reserves.”

16. On the greatest gift in the world…

Having grown up in a remote and poverty-stricken village in Scotland, Shankly had a keen sense of what made a life worth living. In an interview held during a Liverpool training sessions, he revealed his most treasured character trait in a person:

“It’s the greatest thing in the world, natural enthusiasm. You’re nothing without it.”

bill shankly quotes

17. On the dedication of Liverpool players…

Shankly was picky about his Reds players and if he couldn’t see the dedication in their eyes, he was unlikely to warm to them. He once made this declaration about what he looked for in a future LFC boy:

“For a player to be good enough to play for Liverpool, he must be prepared to run through a brick wall for me then come out fighting the other side.”

18. On the privilege of working for Liverpool FC…

Addressing the crowds of Reds supporters waiting for the team in St George’s Square, Liverpool (despite the Reds having just lost the 1971 FA Cup Final), Shankly showed his gratitude to the hero’s welcome:

“I’ve drummed it into our players time and again that they are privileged to play for you.”

19. On his admiration for Kopites…

The Liverpool legend always had a special place in his heart for Anfield’s best-loved stand. Allegedly, after The Beatles asked for tickets to an FA Cup final, Shankly coyly replied, telling them “I’ve never seen any of The Beatles standing on The Kop. Any ticket I have spare will be going to my mates on The Kop”. The following quote makes his admiration for the stand very clear:

“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”.

bill shankly quotes

20. Teasing Everton…

Never one to shy away from reminding Everton they were standing in the shadow of one of the world’s greatest football teams, Shankly famously enjoyed ribbing the Blues on many an occasion:

“When I’ve nothing better to do, I look down the league table to see how Everton are getting along.”

21. On his love for Liverpool…

There’s no doubt that Liverpool and Bill Shankly were a match made in heaven, and Bill knew it as well. He once nostagically remarked:

“Liverpool was made for me and I was made for Liverpool.”

22. On more teasing of Everton…

Despite the two clubs being arch rivals, Bill Shankly struck up an unlikely friendship with one of Everton’s greatest, Dixie Dean. At the funeral for the Toffees legend, Shankly couldn’t help but tease the opposing team once more…

“I know this is a sad occasion but I think that Dixie would be amazed to know that even in death, he could draw a bigger crowd than Everton can on a Saturday afternoon.”

23. On resigning in 1974…

Shankly’s resignation in 1974 was a bombshell that shocked the club and the city. Questions still surround why Shankly chose to step down, although his grandson has suggested it was due to Shankly wanting to spend more time with his family. Regardless of the reasons, it’s obvious that it was an incredibly difficult decision for Liverpool’s main man. Afterwards, in one of the more emotional Bill Shankly quotes on this list, he said:

“It was the most difficult thing in the world, when I went to tell the chairman. It was like walking to the electric chair. That’s the way it felt.”

bill shankly quotes

24. On the importance of football…

One of the most well-known Bill Shankly quotes, the below sentences eloquently demonstrate the Liverpool legends dedication to the beautiful game:

“Some people believe football is a matter of life and death, I am very disappointed with that attitude. I can assure you it is much, much more important than that.”

Interestingly, this quote is often interpreted out of context, and what isn’t mentioned is the following sentence where Shankly says “My family’s suffered. They’ve been neglected”. Despite all the glory and success he achieved, Shankly remained humble and questioned if he’d always had his priorities straight.

25. Remembering Bill Shankly

As we commemorate Bill Shankly’s death, there can’t be any better way to remember him than how he wanted us to. So, in his own words:

“Above all, I would like to be remembered as a man who was selfless, who strove and worried so that others could share the glory, and who built up a family of people who could hold their heads up high and say ‘We’re Liverpool’.”

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

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.

bill shankly quotes

One of The Shankly Hotel’s luxurious suites

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 25 best-ever Bill Shankly quotes 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 autumn packages.

 

Celebrate Shankly’s Birthday With His Best Moments Caught on Film

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.

 

“Natural Enthusiasm!”

“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.

Shankly room

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

Shankly Documentary Available Now On BBC iPlayer

More famous today than he was when he passed away, Bill Shankly is a name that will resonate throughout the ages in Liverpool and the sporting world. Famous for moulding the Liverpool football club we know and love today, Shankly laid the foundations for what would be the clubs continued success long after his retirement.

 

So what was it that took Bill Shankly from a humble miner living in Glenbuck to the greatest and most well-respected football manager among peers, fans and players?

A recent BBC Shankly documentary titled Shankly: Natures Fire takes a look at everything from Shankly’s humble beginnings to the height of his stardom.

Where Shankly Began

The BBC Shankly documentary starts where Shankly did, in Glenbuck village. Talking with one of Shankly’s nieces, Barbara we get a sense of what his early life was and where his love of football began. At 15 years old Shankly worked down the mines, as did any other young man in the area and the game of football was a reprieve from the dark and claustrophobic conditions of the pits.

Shankly documentary - Glenbuck village

Glenbuck Village

During interviews with many of Shankly’s peers and friends, there is an overall conclusion that the camaraderie and communal spirit of the pits remained with Shankly throughout his life and helped forge Shankly ‘sand another 50 pro-footballers careers from within the area. Their collective drive and ambition born from forging a common purpose together as one unit in both work and play.

Teamwork was in their bones, chiselled into their way of life from an early age and it is on these principals that Shankly went on to build his style of management in later life.

Shankly’s Journey To Greatness

After leaving Glenbuck behind the BBC Shankly documentary takes us to through Shankly’s brief playing career at first Carlisle then Preston Northend.

At the time of being scouted by Preston Northend, the club was one of the top class teams in the league. They paid a huge sum of £500 to sign Shankly and despite this being a huge opportunity for Shanks as a player he was reluctant to move so far from home.

Bill Shankly Glenbuck

Bill Shankly playing for Preston

Family and friends recount how he confided to his older sibling worries about moving so far away for not much more money. Thankfully Shanks was reminded of the opportunity and took it, playing in the 1938 FA Cup and winning against Huddersfield Town.

War cut off Shankly’s pro-football career taking 6 or 7 of his best playing years away whilst he served in the RAF. Upon returning to professional football after the war was over for the 1946-47 season Shanks was coming to the end of his playing career at the age of 33 and decided instead to put his skills into a promising management career.

Following Shankly from his return to Carlisle as a manager to Grimsby and then Huddersfield, viewers are given a real sense of what made Bill Shankly a force to be reckoned with both on and off the pitch.

His Effect on Liverpool Football and the People

“Share the ball, share the game, share the worries” Shankly

The majority of the BBC Shankly documentary covers Shankly’s overwhelming effect on the people of Liverpool as he comes to transform Liverpool football club from a second division team to FA Cup winners.

Players like Ian St John, Roger Hunt, Kevin Keegan and Chris Lawler give detailed recollections of their time under Shankly. Each remembering fondly the personal and professional advice he gave them as well as some of their favourite memories of his character.

Shankly documentary 1965 team

BBC Shanky: Nature’s Fire

Ian St John remembers how “he made us believe” and Kevin Keegan recollects how “it was all about the team”.

Shankly believed that with a strong team and strong support of the fans, anything could be accomplished and that by working together no one player could ever be to blame for the team’s failure or success.

Shankly documentary - Shankly and the people

Each person who is interviewed throughout recalls Shankly being a man of the people and how he wanted to change the luck of Liverpool football club so the fans had a team they could be proud of.

What He Meant To Those Who Knew Him

“He’s more famous now than he was when he passed away” Granddaughter Emma

Even though Shankly seemingly lived for the game of football, the legacy he has left behind was built upon so much more than the games he won.

the kop

The people who knew Shankly well recall his connection with everyone he met. How he knew the name of the cleaners and tea lady’s at the training grounds and stadiums and how he always opened his doors to fans who came knocking at this home address.

His granddaughter, Karen Gill, recalls her nan, Nessie, asking for the front lawn to be paved over as it was constantly being worn away by visitors and fans coming to see him.

The Spirit of Shankly remembers his attitude towards the game of football and what it meant to communities who not only played it but supported the game too.

There are dedications to Shankly in Preston’s Deepdale football ground, The Shankly Hotel in Liverpool and the Shankly Museum and Shankly Experience tours each helping others to remember the great man. Such is the lasting legacy that Shankly left behind with his fans, his peers and of course his loving family.

Shankly’s Training Methods

“If you are fit you have a tremendous advantage” Shankly

Many of the players who contributed to the BBC Shankly documentary recall Shankly’s unique training methods and remember how his style of playing became dubbed the Liverpool way.

The Shankly Hotel Preston

The sweat boxes being a particular favourite of Shankly’s, players would have to react to a rebounding ball kicked off a specially made board. The players note that before the time of Shankly, the training involved staying in shape by running laps of the pitch but not so much ball time.

Melwood 1956

source: LFCHistory

Howard Gale thinks back to a time when he used to climb the walls of Mellwood to watch the players train, dreaming of nothing but playing for Liverpool. In the documentary, Gale remembers the day Shankly came out to speak with those watching asking why they weren’t in school and instilling how important an education is before playing football.

There was more to playing the game for Shankly, he said that anyone could play football the skill was learning to work together as a team.

Career Changing Moments

‘The Liver Bird Upon My Chest, We Are Men Of Shankly’s Best, A Team That Plays The Liverpool Way, And Wins The Leaguea nd A Cup in May’ Phil Aspinall

After building his team up from key players, Shankly had but one goal, to win the FA Cup for Liverpool and the people for the very first time.

This, he and his world-class team did in 1965 and the Shankly documentary shows the unprecedented turn out of Liverpool fans when the team came home to parade the cup through the city.

More fans share their memories of the extraordinary day and how much it changed moral in the city. It was onwards and upwards for the team from that moment on and Liverpool football club had become the Bastion of English football Shankly always knew they could be.

The peak of Shankly’s time with Liverpool coincided with the meteoric rise of Merseybeat music, the Shankly documentary captures how Liverpool had become the spotlight of the world in areas of sport and music.


Following the success of Liverpool into the next decade, the BBC Shankly documentary covers Liverpool’s first European trophy win in 1973, another league win, Liverpool’s 8th so far and the return of the FA Cup to Liverpool in 1974 after beating Newcastle United.

As with all good things, the career of Shankly had to come to an end and in July 1974 news broke that Shankly had resigned as manager of Liverpool football club.

Old film footage has been collected to show the shock and bewilderment of fans all over the city as reporters break the news to groups of Liverpool supporters. Their looks of dismay captured on camera show just how important Shankly had become to the people of Liverpool and just how much he was going to be missed.

The BBC Shankly Documentary Shankly: Natures Fire

“Players are privileged to play for you” Shankly

By watching the entire Shankly documentary showing now on BBC iPlayer, people can learn all about a man that changed Liverpool by doing more than building a football team that won trophies.

His efforts involved uniting the city and the players with a common purpose. By forging strong ties with the public, Shankly gained the fans, trust, respect and support which in turn bolstered the players to do their best to avoid disappointing Shankly and the people who loved them.

Shankly and a fan

People like Jamie Carragher and Steven Gerrard remember how important football was in the city of Liverpool, both players enjoyed a kick about form a young age and were instantly obsessed with the game.

Jamie Carragher recounts learning all about how football brought the city together, he remembers it being a part of the city’s interesting history and even says in the documentary;

“Liverpool is football” Jamie Carragher

Today the sport has changed, moved forward into a business rather than the communal game Bill Shankly had used to inspire his training and managing tactics.

The BBC Shankly documentary highlights the fans growing disappointment about how the sport has moved from being for the fans and is more money orientated today. High ticket prices, kit costs away games and season ticket restrictions are making it increasingly difficult for those who love football to support it.

Something that if Shanks were around today, would shake him to his very core. As he would say, what is football without the fans?

Check out the documentary on BBC iPlayer here and come along to The Shankly Hotel to tour The Shankly Museum or stay the night in one of the luxury hotel rooms dedicated to the great life and career of Bill Shankly using any of our amazing Shankly Hotel offers.

Looking Back at England in the World Cup Semi-Final 1990

Though choruses of ‘It’s Coming Home’ may have started with a hint of British sarcasm, the greatest plot twist of the World Cup 2018 is that football could actually be coming home.

With waistcoat sales soaring thanks to Gareth Southgate and the sunny backdrop of Britain’s heatwave keeping beer gardens busy, World Cup fever has been spreading thick and fast.

It’s been a competition to remember so far, and it’s safe to say that we’re clinging on to high hopes for the England vs Croatia semi-final.

To celebrate England’s success, we thought we’d take a step back in time to the last time England made it to the semi-final of the World Cup.

England vs West Germany Semi Final 1990

So, it’s back to 1990 we go. The World Cup semi-final of the new decade saw England take to the pitch against West Germany. It’s been 28 years since the game, and football fans who remember the highly anticipated match have been reminiscing on the atmosphere and moments that stood out most.

At the time, England were managed by Sir Bobby Robson. The team had played impressively throughout the competition, finally knocked out of the game by West Germany on penalties.

In Gazza Misses the Final, a collection of minute-by-minute reports written by Rob Smyth and Scott Murray, the classic World Cup match of 1990 is documented as it played out.

One extract summarises:

“England were the better side in normal time and West Germany in extra time. The Germans will go on to their third consecutive final, hoping to avenge their defeats in 1982 and 1986. England go into a third-place play-off with Italy on Saturday after a night of raw emotion and proud heartbreak that will live with us all for ever. Gazza has tears streaming down his reddened face as he salutes the England fans. Time to listen to ‘World in Motion’ on loop while drowning a million sweet sorrows.”

England World Cup 1990 Penalties

A bittersweet era for England supporters, fans shared some of their best memories of the 1990 World Cup with the East Anglican Daily Times.

Chris Wright recalled:

“I had a tough decision to make. Forego my ticket for the Rolling Stones Urban Jungle Tour at Wembley Stadium or stay at home and watch the game. I went to see the Stones and everyone brought along radios, so we were totally in touch with what was going on. Of course these days it would be possibly to watch the game on the phone and be at the gig.”

Though fans remembered the disappointment and heartbreak following the semi-final result, they were also quick to remember the highlights throughout the 1990 World Cup. A particular fond memory amongst fans was David Platt’s goal while playing against Belgium.

The timeless goal took place as extra time was heading towards a pentalty shoot-out. England got a free-kick with about a minute left to spare. Broadcaster John Motson describes the goal fondly in The Telegraph:

“Bobby Robson and the England bench were signalling frantically as to what they thought they should do with this free-kick but I don’t think Paul Gascoigne was paying any attention at all. Gazza floated his free-kick into the penalty area and David Platt, who was quite new then to international football, swivelled and volleyed it into the net.”

So, with England inching one step closer to the World Cup final once again, we can only hope this semi-final goes in our favour. Supermarkets such as Lidl and Aldi have already taken to social media to announce their employees will finish at 3:00pm should England make it the final on Sunday 15 July.

It seems this enthusiasm has filtered down to smaller workplaces. For example, AMI, a metalwork company in Sheffield has promised to offer all staff a paid day off on Monday 16 July if England really do win the World Cup.

Excitement is certainly building across the country, with nearly 20 million viewers tuning in to watch England beat Sweden in the quarter-finals last weekend.

We’re wishing the England boys the best of luck! Here’s to hoping football’s coming home.

Not sure where to watch the match? We’re showing the World Cup semi-final on our rooftop terrace at The Shankly Hotel. You can register for your spot on the roof here.

The Rise of Kop and Pop Culture in 1965 Liverpool

In Liverpool, music and football go hand in hand thanks to the rise in both Merseybeat and the quality of Merseyside football in the 1950’s. After Bill Shankly accepted the manager’s role at Liverpool football club there was a dramatic turnaround in performance and of course, Beatlemania began to traverse the globe as the boys made headlines with their unique sound.

The Shankly Museum holds vast archives of rare Shankly memorabilia but none showcase the link between Liverpool music and football so much as the telegram that will be unveiled to mark the two-year anniversary of The Sahnkllky Hotel opening. Shanks received the telegram from the FabFour on the day of the 1965 FA Cup Final when Liverpool played Leeds and won.

This remarkable piece of footballing and music memorabilia marks an upturn in the pop and Kop culture of Liverpool. These two fascinating phenomena took audiences across the world by storm creating a combined passion for Liverpool football and Merseybeat music.

Kop Culture

“I’m just one of the people who stands on the Kop. They think the same as I do, and I think the same as they do. It’s a kind of marriage of people who like each other.”

Shankly was loved by Liverpool, not just for what he did to transform the city’s beloved team but also for his quick wit and sharp humour. Scousers are known for being direct, straight talking people with hearts of gold and that’s just what Shankly was like.

source: Quotesgram

Above all Shankly was a down to earth man who knew the magnitude of the task he had ahead of him when he walked through the main entrance at Anfield in December 1959.

It wasn’t long before his work was rewarded as Liverpool football club climbed the ranks sweeping into division one by April 1962.

The turn around delighted fans who could be heard singing their hearts out from the Kop urging their players onward and upwards.

Fathers would drop their boys into the “boy’s pen” and go stand with their mates bellowing out tune after tune from the charts, which at the time was filled with tracks from local Merseybeat bands.

“The fans here are the greatest in the land. They know the game and they know what they want to see. The People on the Kop make you feel great – yet humble.”

Pop Culture

The rise in the quality of Liverpool football, thanks to Shanks’, mirrored another sweeping craze of the sixties; Beatlemania.

Four boys from the city were taking the music world by storm producing track after track, each hitting the UK top ten and holding their positions for weeks on end.

source: Pinterest

Of course, the people of Liverpool were jubilant at this point as two of their homegrown talents were sweeping the world and coming up trumps.

Liverpool Football club even played the top ten at Anfield matches through the PA system before the game as almost every song belonged to a Merseybeat band. This also became known as the earliest instance of pre-match entertainment.

Gerry and the Pacemakers, Cilla Black and The Beatles had arrived on the music scene as had Liverpool football club in the international world of football.

The synchronicity of the two occurrences stirred something inside the people of Liverpool creating the amazing mix of music loving football fans we have today.

The Beatles and Shankly

The Beatles are known for having no particular ties to either of the Merseyside football clubs and quite famously when Brian Epstein asked for tickets for the 1965 FA Cup final for the boys Shanks replied;

“I have never seen any of The Beatles standing on the Kop, any tickets I have spare will be going to my mates on the Kop.”

Never the less The Beatles sent support to their home team on the day of the 1965 FA Cup final against Leeds, the clubs greatest moment to date and a testament to Shankly, the man who put them there.

The FabFour sent a telegram wishing the team and Shanks the best of luck and letting them know they’d be watching on TV.

source: Twitter

Liverpool went on to play a gruelling match against Leeds, who also gave it their all, and the FA Cup final of 1965 went into extra time with no goals scored.

The first goal of extra time was scored in a matter of minutes putting Liverpool up by one, then Leed’s equalised seven minutes later making it neck and neck. The final goal was scored in the 117th minute by Liverpool winning the game and giving Liverpool their first-ever FA Cup triumph.

source: skysports.com

Could the Beatles telegram have given them the extra push to perform or was it just the brilliance of Shankly and the player’s reluctance to disappoint him and their fans?

All we know is that The Beatles telegram to Shanks now serves as a reminder of one of Liverpool’s finest footballing moments and Shankly’s “greatest day”.

The Shankly Hotel Museum

Come along and learn more about the man and legend Bill Shankly, take a guided tour of the museum and be recounted with heartwarming stories about the great man from those who knew him best, his family.

Take a Shankly Experience tour around Liverpool, discovering important sites of local history and heritage as well as seeing the hallowed grounds of Anfield or Goodison.

You can even stay the night with amazing accommodation offers that can include, overnight stays, breakfast or evening meals in luxury Shankly themed hotel rooms.

After two wonderful years have passed since we opened our doors to the public The Shankly Hotel has helped make some amazing memories for our guests, our staff and the city of Liverpool. We look forward to what the future holds at The Shankly Hotel.

Call on 0151 601 8801 or email info@signatureliving.co.uk and book your stay at The Shankly Hotel, Liverpool’s only football-themed city centre hotel.

The Best Cultural Attractions within Walking Distance of The Shankly Hotel

On the doorstep of the Shankly Hotel is a wealth of Liverpool culture that guests of The Shankly Hotel can walk to in under 15 minutes.

No matter where your interests lie, a simple hop skip and a jump will take you into several of Liverpool’s most widely visited cultural attractions.

We have put together a helpful guide so that you can make the most of your visit to Liverpool with The Shankly Hotel.

6 Fascinating Museums

Liverpool has a wide selection of museums both big and small, and what’s more, they are all within 15 minutes’ walk of The Shankly Hotel.

The World Museum – 4 minutes’ walk

Host to exhibitions about space, biology and natural history all giving visitors the chance to gain extensive knowledge on the planet we inhabit.

During interactive workshops inspired by museums exhibitions visitors can learn all there is to know about planet earth. From the deepest depths of the sea to the furthest reaches of space, there’s something for every age at The World Museum.

Western Approaches Museum – 11 minutes’ walk

Western Approaches Museum - Liverpool culture

For those with an interest in wartime history take a walk to Western Approaches Museum, an expertly restored bunker surviving from WW2.

Inside, war history enthusiasts can enjoy touring hidden rooms including The Map Room which has remained as it was from the day the doors were sealed in 1945.

The Western Approaches bunker played an important part in the strategy implemented during WW2 that some say had a massive impact on our victory.

The Museum of Liverpool – 15 minutes’ walk

Liverpool Museum - Liverpool culture

source; www.broxapdesignandbuild.com

A trip to the Museum of Liverpool will leave you with an in-depth knowledge of our fascinating city. Exhibitions on display depict the past, present and predicted future of Liverpool and teach visitors all that helped shape the landscape of the Liverpool we know today.

Information on the sporting and creative achievements of Liverpool’s people, as well as the impact of Liverpool maritime involvement, is all on display at the Museum of Liverpool.

The Piermaster’s House – 15 minutes’ walk

Piermaster's house - Liverpool culture

Source; www.flickr.com/photos/panr

On historical Albert Dock visitors to Liverpool can take a stroll around The Piermaster’s House. This stunning period building has been recreated in the style of a genuine WW2 homestead, complete with ration booklets and gas masks.

The original purpose of the dwelling was for the Piermaster and his family to stay, the Piermaster being responsible for directing ships in and out of Liverpool’s busy port in the latter half of the 18th century.

The Piermaster’s house is just one of four houses built that survived heavy bombings during the second world war.

The Merseyside Maritime Museum – 15 minutes’ walk

Merseyside Maritime - Liverpool culture

For an insight into  Liverpool’s maritime past, The Merseyside Maritime Museum has it all. There are theatrical performances recreating major moments from Liverpool shipping past as well as interactive lessons on LGBT lives in the Navy.

There are theatrical performances recreating major moments from Liverpool’s shipping history as well as interactive lessons on LGBT lives in the Navy.

A real chance to learn about how influential Liverpool was on the seas.

The International Slavery Museum – 15 minutes’ walk

International Slavery - Liverpool culture

source; www.clicknetherfield.com

The last museum in our list is the only one of its kind, serving to highlight the past and present day issues of the human slave trade.

The International Slavery Museum is home to some inspiring historical collections. Each tells the stories of countless individuals and their journeys. From being plucked out of their countries, documenting their harrowing journey across the sea to reach their destination to serve as slaves in America.

Although a troubling part of Liverpool’s past a visit to The International Slavery Museum is well worth it. Learn about the history of slave trade and the huge roll Liverpool played in the import and export of humans over the course of four centuries.

Must See Liverpool Landmarks

As well as museums, there are some exciting Liverpool landmarks that are not to be missed all within walking distance from the Shankly Hotel.

Three Graces – 15-minutes’ walk

Three Graces Liverpool culture

The Liver Building, Cunard Building and Port of Liverpool Building are three of Liverpool’s most iconic structures. Sitting proudly along the Mersey River these three buildings played a huge part in Liverpool’s long history.

The Cunard building was home to the Cunard shipping line and has recently celebrated its 100th birthday. Now owned by Merseyside Pension Fund the Cunard Building has hosted short exhibitions and public events.

The Liver building was originally constructed to house the Royal Liver Assurance group who assisted families when a wage-earning member was lost.

When the Liver building was originally constructed it was the tallest in the city and one of the first buildings made with reinforced concrete. It is now a nest for symbols of the city the Liver Birds and an iconic part of Liverpool’s unforgettable skyline.

The Port of Liverpool building is a stunning architectural creation noted in Liverpool for its ornamental detailing.

The domed centre and surrounding cupolas give the Port of Liverpool building a somewhat palatial appearance.

All three buildings make up a large part of the UNESCO World Heritage Waterfront each is a definite must see during any visit to the city for learning more about Liverpool culture.

Albert Dock – 20 minutes’ walk

Albert Dock Liverpool culture

The very first building in the UK to be built without using wood and thus Albert Dock was the first non-combustible dock warehouse in the world.

After a peak in business being used as a docking facility fast advances in shipping technology relegated Albert dock to use as a storage facility.

Then commissioned by the Admiralty during WW2, Albert Dock provided a base for the British Atlantic Fleet.

After this Albert Dock was unused for approximately a decade until Merseyside Development Corporation was created and took control of the renovation.

Since re-opening in 1984 Albert Dock has become a major tourist attraction home to a few Liverpool museums and art galleries as well as a host of popular bars and restaurants.

St George’s Hall – 5 minutes’ walk

St George's Hall Liverpool culture

One of Liverpool’s most visually appealing buildings is St Georges Hall.

Originally built to host music festivals, banquets and concerts, today this stunning venue still houses some of Liverpool’s most exciting events. These include live music performances, culinary and vintage fairs, corporate events and even weddings.

Perhaps the most striking feature of St Georges Hall is the Great Hall, with ornate tiled flooring and gilded carvings, a breath-taking sight to behold.

Visitors can view St George’s hall as part of a tour or during a visit to one of the amazing events taking place.

Remarkable statues, memorials and monuments

• Eleanor Rigby statue – 3 minutes’ walk
• Wellington memorial – 9 minutes’ walk
• Queen Victoria monument – 8 minutes’ walk
• Titanic memorial – 15 minutes’ walk
• Lennon statue – 5 minutes’ walk
• Cilla Black statue – 5 minutes’ walk

Our own slice of Liverpool’s historical culture

Bill Shankly museum Liverpool culture

The Shankly Hotel is the ideal place to stay for an experience of Liverpool’s interesting past. Even in the hotel itself, guests can learn all about one of Liverpool’s most iconic player/managers Bill Shankly.

Our Bill Shankly Museum details the life and career of Shankly, with rare memorabilia on display that includes handwritten letters, award and medals, even a training tracksuit from his time at LFC.

Learn all you can about Liverpool culture from the past and present during a visit to the Shankly Hotel.

Book your visit today here or call 0151 601 8801.

3 Unique Ways to Explore Liverpool’s History

Have you ever wanted to explore a piece of Liverpool’s history that’s a little off the beaten track?

If so we recommend one of these three unique tourist experiences that will show you pieces of Liverpool’s past from a unique perspective.

Slavery Trail

Take a walk back in time and explore Liverpool’s history by learning about what helped shape the exuberant waterfront architecture and early wealth of the city.

Liverpool waterfront

Liverpool’s position on the Mersey River made city docks the hub of UK trade from overseas. Goods such as tobacco, spices, cotton and Gin flowed through Liverpool bringing extreme wealth and prosperity to the area.

This wealth was also built on the sale of humans as goods at the peak of slave trading.

In what was once known as the ‘Slave Trade Triangle’ Liverpool played a crucial role.

The port of Liverpool served as the beginning and end point for a staggering three-quarters of the slaving ships coming to and from Africa and the Caribbean.

There are traces of this sad part of Liverpool’s history all around us, in the artwork found on the cities most prominent buildings and monuments.

Slavery in Liverpool

The Liverpool Slavery Trail is operated Eric Lynch, a man who has educated himself on the intricate details of Liverpool’s history.

Eric shares this wealth of knowledge with those partaking in the walkign city tour.

Shankly Experience

Another huge part of Liverpool’s interesting history is football.

Evident in the numerous tours in operation that ferry visitors around the two major premier league football stadiums and training grounds in the city.

We recommend another way to explore the unique footballing history of Liverpool with our Shankly Experience tour.

Take a journey with the Shankly Family Foundation and learn how the power of one man transformed a football club and stirred inspiration across a city of people.

Bill Shankly

Pioneering the ‘Liverpool way of play’, Bill Shankly made the city famous through football. Because of his efforts at LFC, his working-class background and outstanding moral compass, the people of Liverpool loved him.

His character was admired by many, known as a stand-up family man dedicated only to his wife, children and the game of football.

During a visit to the Shankly Hotel take a chance to explore a piece of Liverpool’s history through various displays of Shankly memorabilia.

Never before seen iconic items donated by the Shankly family can be viewed, such as rare photos and his own training tracksuit. This, as well as handwritten letters and tactics notes, give visitors a keen insight into the mind and life of the great man.

Why not book an exclusive training session on Shankly playing field to see where Bill Shankly worked and played during his Liverpool career?

shankly-balls123456

Participants can enjoy running drills fashioned from handwritten notes taken from Shankly archives and learn to understand the ethos of Bill Shankly; that you can play hard as long as you work harder.

You can even play in and keep a limited-edition training kit as a memento.

The Shankly Tours and training experiences are bookable here and are a unique way to explore Liverpool’s history from a different perspective.

Williamson Tunnel tours

There are some magnificent sights across Liverpool city centre.

The Three Graces, The Anglican and Metropolitan Cathedrals and Albert Dock are all stunning pieces of Liverpool history…above ground.

How about what lies beneath the city?

Liverpool's history underground - Williamson's tunnels

source; www.tunnelvision.com

In 1995 a series of tunnels were discovered by a university student beneath the streets of Liverpool. Since then these tunnels have been slowly excavated by volunteers.

The tunnels are the work of a wealthy tobacco baron, Joseph Williamson. After building what were known to have been grand mansions of unconventional design, Williamson moved onto constructing his obscure series of underground tunnels.

His reasons behind constructing these tunnels remain unknown but have been widely speculated upon.

Theories include Williamson’s involvement in a religious sect, convinced the apocalypse was looming. The tunnels, therefore, built as a post-apocalyptic haven for Williamson, his family and friends.

Others suspected Williamson of being involved in smuggling using the tunnels to transport goods across the city undetected.

A popular explanation is that Williamson’s tunnels were built to employ hundreds of soldiers returning from the Napoleonic war.

Liverpool's history underground - Williamson's tunnels

source; www.tunnelvision.com

It seems construction carried on for 70 years and ceased immediately after Williamson’s death.

Now the Joseph Williamson Society are exploring this mysterious piece of Liverpool’s history concealed within these fascinating underground structures. You too can explore the Labyrinth as part of a guided tour and check out the progress of ongoing excavation.

Explore Liverpool’s History from the Shankly Hotel

shankly-860

If you are planning a short city break, then explore Liverpool’s history during one or all of these unique city tours.

Other popular city attractions such as the amazing nightlife and superb shopping complexes are within easy reach of the Shankly Hotel.

Why not book to stay at the Shankly Hotel and see what you can learn about the interesting history of Liverpool?

Call 0151 601 8801 or email ifno@signatureliving.co.uk.

Justice at Last

Justice at last, but ignorant comments will always be something we have to contend with in respect of Hillsborough.

I haven’t blogged for a while, so today I took it upon myself to make a resolution to take the written word much more often than I am presently.

My focus today turns to the events of the last few weeks that saw 27 years of injustice, cover-ups and lies finally exposed and set to right. Hillsborough is such an emotive topic and opinions around it stir so many reactions.

I was seven years old at the time and hadn’t quite started to make the transition to the match-going-regular I am today. I’d gone to a few games at Anfield on the family’s season tickets but nothing more, and my love affair with ‘that bird’ was only in its flirtatious period. My Dad, however, made the journey to Sheffield for the game; courtesy of obtaining a ticket for the seated section through my grandmother, Nessie Shankly.

The Shankly 96 Wall

I remember on the day I was at a school friend’s birthday party (Tony Lamb, if I remember correctly). I recall my Mum picking me up after the party – after those tragic events had unfolded – and telling me there had been a crush at the ground but my Dad was okay. He returned home that night and vomited in the toilet, scarred by what he had witnessed that day.

My immediate memory is as a seven-year-old, trying to get my head around how people had been crushed at a football game. I remember asking my Mum if the roof had collapsed, because that was how I understood ‘crushing’. She explained no, and from that moment I always struggled to comprehend how people can be crushed by other people. Even as a 34-year-old, who has travelled everywhere with Liverpool FC in his life, I struggled to get my head around it – until I watched the BBC2 documentary a couple of evenings ago.

Massive respect to Phil Scraton for what he has done for the campaign and his fight for justice. The documentary was brilliant in showing the world the extent of the lies and cover-up by the establishment, and what the families had to go through on the day, in the immediate aftermath and the following 27 years.

The documentary also served to show the harrowing images of what the Liverpool fans and the victims went through on the day, as a result of the incompetence and failures of the authorities to safely look after them. In many ways, it finally showed me how something like that could happen, but, more importantly, it firmly shown who was responsible and who WASN’T.

Over the course of the 27 years, the brave, dignified families fought against the odds for justice for their loved ones and our survivors, for this city, in fact. As a Liverpool fan, I, as well as many others, have had to put up with vile chants and comments aimed at us in respect of the disaster. As a much younger lad, I would often get drawn and end up arguing or reacting, giving these ignorant people just what they wanted. Yet as time went on and I matured, I was able to express my opinion in a measured way; one that stated the facts and, crucially, an opinion that I knew to be true and would one day be proven to be so.

You see, I always knew the truth would out. An easy thing to say many might state now that it has happened, but I was always confident we would get justice. In the days before the verdicts, speaking with many of the families, they would tell you I stated how confident I was. The reason being: you don’t pick on this city and its people and expect to get away with it. We will not be supressed and never will be. The families who so bravely led the fight could not be more of a shining example that embodies that sentiment. When one of us is hurting or falls, another will pick that person up, dust them off and pull them back into the fight. We are unique and there is nobody like us.

Chris-Carline

In recent years, we have held a number of tributes and memorials at The Shankly Hotel, and I have been absolutely privileged to get to know and become friends with many of the families and friends of the victims. Seeing them up close, hearing what they have been through, learning of their fight and how they have fought, it has been nothing less than inspiring to me. I count them as friends for life and they should all, every single of them, be given the highest of honours.

I am just so proud to have been able to do something for them here at the hotel that does their loved ones proud, and I am even more honoured that many of them see this place as somewhere they can come and call ‘home’. There can be no greater honour for us than that.

Now the truth is out and justice is served, I just hope that those responsible for the deaths of our 96, and those who lied and colluded to precipitate the biggest cover-up in this country’s history, get what they deserve in terms of punishment. But never forget that the reason they are all now being held accountable. The reason the biggest cover-up in this country’s history has been exposed. The reason justice has been delivered to the 96, our fans, the survivors, the families and the city. It is due to the sheer willpower, persistence and drive of the families. For that, we can never say thank you enough to them. Whilst the intervention of ‘death’ has spared the hand of justice delivering punishment to some, others will now experience just a small fraction of what the families have endured for the last 27 years. Anxiety, pain and suffering as to what fate awaits them.

Despite all of the recent events, you have to ask the question whether we will ever ENTIRELY escape the ignorant comments and opinions on Hillsborough. Just this morning, Sky and ITV’s Eamon Holmes had the audacity to compare Manchester United’s team bus being attacked violently last night by West Ham fans as being a throwback to what we saw “in the 70s and 80s, the type of thing you were seeing that was bad about Hillsborough, for instance”. Wow! A comment that clearly translates to me that that fan violence was to blame for Hillsborough. Did Mr Holmes not watch the verdicts come in? Did he not see the response, in particular to question 7, which stated clearly that fans were not to blame.

memorial

When the story broke this morning, my immediate reaction was that it was sheer ignorance and that he had engaged his mouth before his brain. I actually tweeted and put on Facebook that if he comes out and just admits that and apologises unreservedly, he might at least claw back some respect. Alas, he did move fast to apologise, but the nature and content of it was, in my opinion, quite frankly pathetic and actually nonsensical, which to me reeks of it carrying no authenticity.

He has claimed people accusing him of a slur on the 96 and Liverpool fans are stirring up trouble, and that he was trying to say these are images we never want to see again, which is why he brought Hillsborough into it. So how does 96 people being crushed to death compare to images of a bus smashed violently by football fans?

If he had simply apologised and admitted it was mouth engaged before brain (we’ve all done it), he’d have got a bit more leniency, but his ‘official’ apology just smacks of him trying to protect himself and, for that reason, he deserves what he gets now.

Alas, let’s not finish on a negative. I’d simply like to dedicate this post to the 96, their families and friends, the survivors, fans, the people of this city and everyone involved in the fight for justice. As I said in the immediate aftermath of the verdicts last week, my Nan, Nessie Shankly, my hero, was involved in the early days of the fight for justice before she passed away in 2002. She is a REAL Iron Lady, just like those who lead the fight for justice. Whilst, like many others, she never managed to hang on for that amazing day when justice was delivered, I know she will have been sat ‘up there’ with them all, despite the fact she wasn’t born and bred here in Liverpool, smiling down on us all and saying, “that is my city and these are my people”.

13 Reasons Why The Shankly Hotel Won Simply the Guest

Have you heard the wonderful news? The Shankly Hotel has been rated the best UK Luxury Hotel on Late Rooms. We are absolutely ecstatic to scoop the sought-after ‘Simply the Guest’ award, and believe it is a testament to the hard work and passion delivered by our growing team.

We are proud to have received such a prestigious accolade, so we thought we’d take a look at what makes The Shankly Hotel stand out from the crowd.

1. Our Hard-working Team

From the front of house team all the way to the sales department, The Shankly Hotel is full to the brim with hard-working individuals, who ensure we deliver exceptional customer service day after day. Without them, we could not have achieved this accolade in just eight months.

2. Luxurious Rooms

You can guarantee you are in for one comfortable night sleep when you book a stay at The Shankly Hotel. Offering relaxing double beds, a double Jacuzzi bath and plush interior, you will want to spend each and every second of your stay in the comfort of your hotel room.

3. The Bastion Bar & Restaurant

summer-lunch

When you do decide to leave your luxurious room, you can join us for dinner downstairs at The Bastion Bar & Restaurant. Our talented chefs lovingly create delicious dishes created from fresh, local ingredients. So, whether you feel like Salmon or a burger, there will be something for you at our stylish Liverpool restaurant.

4. Bill Shankly Memorabilia

The first thing you’ll notice when you head into our restaurant in Liverpool is the Bill Shankly memorabilia on display. You can view various items throughout the bar and restaurant, which were donated from the Shankly family’s private collection. You can view everything from Bill Shankly’s personal typewriter, clothing and his letters to and from fans.

5. Superb Service

As we have already mentioned, our passionate team have created the well-oiled machine that is The Shankly Hotel. You can therefore guarantee you’ll receive an exceptional service from start to finish. Our goal is to cater to our guests’ every requirements, and we encourage feedback to ensure we can continue to deliver a superb service time after time.
Whether you need extra towels in your room, another glass of wine to toast a fantastic stay or just something taken off your dish, our team will be happy to offer a helping hand at every opportunity.

6. Shankly Tours

The Shankly Hotel has been founded by the hotel provider Signature Living and the Shankly Family – so there’s no better football tours in Liverpool. We are thrilled to provide six fantastic tour options for our guests to choose from. Both children and adults can attend the tours, which can take you to Shankly’s West Derby home and St George’s Hall where he delivered his ‘Chairman Mao’ speech.

7. Famous Guests

The wonderful thing about The Shankly Hotel is that you never know who will be passing through our days. Previous guests have included Megan McKenna and David Hasselhoff, and we also regularly welcome a number of sporting stars to deliver Q&As at The Bastion Bar & Restaurant during a big LFC game. Just some of the football stars to visit the hotel include footballing legends Alan Kennedy, Ian Callaghan and Phil Neal.

8. Group Accommodation

The Shankly Hotel

Unlike other hotels, our aim is to bring guests together through spacious, comfortable and stylish accommodation. We don’t split our guests into different rooms; we offer flexible accommodation that allows everyone to create amazing memories in one location. So, if you are planning a hen party, stag party, birthday party or another special event, be sure to book a stay at our beautiful hotel in Liverpool.

9. Afternoon Tea

The Bastion Bar & Restaurant’s afternoon tea has become incredibly popular, as guests can enjoy scrumptious finger sandwiches, cakes and traditional jam and cream scones. It’s therefore a wonderful dining experience to celebrate an anniversary or birthday, or to just your loved ones’ company.

10. Onsite Parking

You don’t have to worry about where to put your car when you stay at The Shankly Hotel – as we offer onsite parking underneath the hotel. You can park your car for just £1.50 for up to five hours, or can spend just £8.50 to park for between five and eight hours. However, if you’re staying in our hotel, we recommend paying just £10 for car parking from between 8 to 24 hours.

11. Central Location

Our central location means you’re never too far away from the city’s best attractions and transport links. Whether you’re staying with us to explore our wonderful city, visiting loved ones who live in Liverpool or are set to attend an event, you won’t find a better destination in the city centre. We’re just a short walk away from the city’s high street shops, train stations, bus stops and famous landmarks.

12. Private Dining

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Do you want to celebrate a special event in an intimate setting? Well, consider Little Eden, which can play host to a number of events, including small weddings, engagement celebrations, baby showers, birthday dinners and more. Our beautiful interior will provide the perfect backdrop to your event, whilst our dedicated team will ensure it runs smoothly, so you can simply focus on toasting to a wonderful evening.

13. The Story

The whole of Liverpool fell in love with Bill Shankly – who changed the face of Liverpool FC forever. The humble Scot made Liverpool his home after enjoying a successful career as LFC’s manager, pulling them up from a Division Two club to a Premier League team.

Settling in West Derby with his wife, Nessie, and their children, the family have grown up in the city. Immensely proud of Bill Shankly’s legacy, the family have chosen to create a luxurious hotel inspired by the legendary football player and manager, in conjunction with Signature Living.

This is only the start of The Shankly Hotel – as work on the second phase of the hotel begun just last month – and we plan to create a rooftop bar and install a 100ft slide. So, if you haven’t done so already, book a stay with us to experience our unique hotel in Liverpool for yourself.

Call our friendly team today on 0151 601 8801 or email info@signatureliving.co.uk for more information.

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.

who is bill shankly

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.

who is bill shankly

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.

who is bill shankly

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.