thanks SHANKS, 50 years (p5)
91218 …Thanks Shanks ..50 years on..
"Natural enthusiam, thats whats missing , not only in football but in life, natural enthusiam, half the world is missing it…(but Emlyn & Kevin’ s got it..)"
and that worked out well too." He added: "Everybody here knows how important Bill Shankly was to this club. To see the former players around was very positive. We have a fantastic club with a great history."
" The word ‘fantastic’ has been used many times, so I would have to
invent another word to fully describe the Anfield spectators. It is
more than fanaticism, it’s a religion. To the many thousands who come
here to worship, Anfield isn’t a football ground, i’s a sort of shrine.
These people are not simply fans, they’re more like members of one
"When people ask me my credentials for being a manager or a coach I have
one answer… Bill Shankly. They’re my qualifications, the way I was
born. And that’s all the qualifications anyone needs in the game I’m
in. I didn’t think it was necessary to take an FA coaching course. I
didn’t think it was going to make me any bett…er. If I take a course am
I going to be a better man six days later because I’ve got a piece of
paper? That’s nonsense. Chamberlain came back from Germany with a piece
of paper.. . the worst f*cking piece of paper we’ve ever had!!"
"When I’ve nothing better to do, I look down the league table to see how Everton are getting along."
"If Everton were playing at the bottom of the garden, I’d pull the curtains."
"The difference between Everton and the Queen Mary is that Everton carry more passengers!"
"One young boy got killed at his work and a bus load of 50 people came
to Anfield one Sunday to scatter his ashes at the Kop end. It was very,
very sad. Another family came with a man’s ashes when the ground was
frost-bound. So the groundsman had the difficult job of digging a hole
in the pitch inside the Kop net. He dug it… a foot down at the
right-hand side of the post facing the Kop and casket containing the
man’s ashes were placed in it. So people not only support Liverpool
when they’re alive. They support them when they are dead. This is the true story of Liverpool. This is possibly why Liverpool are so great. There is no hypocrisy about it. It is sheer honesty"
"That I’ve been basically honest in a game in which it is sometimes
difficult to be honest. Sometimes you‘ve got to tell a little white lie
to get over a little troublesome period of time. I’d like to think that
I have put more into the game than I have taken out. And that I haven‘t
cheated anybody, that I‘ve been working f…or people honestly all along
the line, for the people of Liverpool who go to Anfield. I’d like to be
recognised for trying to give them entertainment.
I’d played at Anfield and I knew the crowd were fantastic. I knew
there was a public just waiting. So I fought the battles inside and
outside. I was interested in only one thing, success for the club. And
that meant success for the people. I wanted results for the club, for
the love of the game, to make the people happy."
Rutland RED>Shanks>…We all know how he introduced the full red strip, but hearing Ron Yeats talk about the night he made him "model" the strip was fascinating – How Shanks ran out to the centre circle and then had Yeats run out to him – so he could see how intimidating his 7ft collosus looked against the sky line all in red. 🙂
The belief he could instill in the players was unbelievable and that was something else that came accross strongly from the night – they all truly believed, 100%, that once they took to the pitch, no matter who they were playing, they would win – without an ounce of doubt – (but then they weren’t allowed to doubt ;))
A truly brilliant man…
"(68)The highlight of that season – when Carlisle reached the 3rd round of the FA cup..- Jan. 1951, when the no-hopers travelled to Highbury with the football world expecting a massacre – Nobody gave Carlisle a chance (against Arsenal) except for one man (manager) ..Bill Shankly!..- On the morning of the game Shankly took the team to Highbury to give them a conducted tour of the famous ground and to get them used to the atnosphere. – In the dressing room prior to kick-off, Shankly was doing his best to rally his troops. He also told Jack Billingham to play as deep as he could, it was a novel role, – it was time to come out , Shankly lines up his men up against the wall. And like a sargeant-major he began to inspect them. (wearing a new strip) – "pull those socks up, tuck that shirt in" – "whatever happens on the field today" he barked , "you are going out of this dressing room as a credit to the city of Carlisle"….
…."That day we had a confidence instilled into us by Shankly that I dont think has ever been equalled" confessed Jimmy Jackson "The Shankly brand of enthusiam made you feel there was no team in the country that you were not able to match" – just under 58,000 packed into Highbury – Carlisle went on to give as fine a performance as they had ever given, and, by the end, it was a case of Arsenal hanging on for a goalless draw – After the game Shankly was beseiged by reporters, all wanting to know the ("Carlisle") secret…."
"(177)..Peter Thompson, a young whippet of a winger from Preston. ..- although only 20 years old cost the club 37,000 – with more cash flowing through the turnstiles than the club had ever known, nobody was going to refuse him another signing. – Years later, Shankly called the deal "daylight robbery" adding "he’d be worth 10 million today"Shankly also brought cash into the club with the sale of a number of surplus players – It was good housekeeping
– With Thompson on the left flank and Callaghan on the other, Liverpool were capable of cracking the most uncompromising of defences. Perhaps more fundemental was a growing optimism in the boardroom, where directors were now beginning to share Shankly’s determinsation to challenge for honours. "
"(183) Chisnall remains convinced that Liverpool were by far the fittest team in British football and that this was fundemental to their success, – Styles on the field were also remarkably different. "At united , Busby simply let us play our own game – But, at Liverpool everything was done collectively. You were playing for each other."
"(215) One afternoon, he went down town in the car and parked it just outside the Mersey Tunnel on a double-yellow line . A policeman came up and told him he couldn’t park there. Shankly was having none of it "You take the car then, – "its not mine, it’s a club car." And with that, he walked off and caught the bus"
…..On another ocassion, as he was driving near Bellefield, he spotted everton’s Mick Lyons driving in the opposite direction. Shankly stopped his car and wound down his window. Lyons did likewiseand, for the next 5 minutes, they were chatting about the game. ‘Theres 20 cars behind me and round the corner’, remembered Lyons ‘ and about 20 cars behind him" , and I am looking embarassed. "Aye" he says "This is life we are talking about, son, Ignore them. they dont know what it’s about! "..
"(226) Shankly also introduced the tradition of pre-season tours against top-class opposition. Liverpool had often – during the post war years, making regular trips to America after the season ended. European competition however, convinced Shankly that there was more merit in playing the best German or Scandanavian clubsas part of the PRE-season build-up, so that as soon as the season began Liverpool would be at their best."
"(227) Footballers enjoy training with the ball and there was no better way, reckoned Shankly, than in a competitive match. The five-a-side games, – taught players the basic rudiments of Shankly’s style. That was where the passing game was learnt. "All you have to do is pass the ball to someone wearing a shirt the same colour as yours" An uncomplicated philosophy, yet startingly accurate"
"(229) Shankly wanted to know if they could stand up to the rigours of the game, whether they needed their confidence boosted, or whether they needed bringing down a peg or two…And Shankly’s team always won the 5-a-side gane. If they were losing play would continue until they went ahead, whereupon Shankly would suddenly call an end to training" – Just about every morning, whether it was wind, hail, rain or snow..he would slap a player on the back and say ….."Great to be alive, boys, all you need is the green grass and a ball"
"(230) Passing on his experience to youngsters was a role he relished. He learnt their names and tried to treat them like adults and did his best to have a chat with each of them. The apprentices were given jobs such as scrubbing and looking after the kit, Shankly would be watching to see how well they did the job. Did they take a prie in their work?…- St John> we had one weedy looking 17 year old..Shanks was a bit concerned and wanted to build him up, and had a meeting with his staff and decided to put him on a steak diet. – so every week this collected a big parcel of steak for his mother to cook,… 6 months later, this lad knocks on Shanks door "Come on in , son", says Shanks, "You’re looking better now, filling out a bit"…Well Sir" said the lad "Ive coming to tell you that I am getting married" "Getting married are you ? " replies Shanks " Yes, I have to" answers the lad " "What do you mean?" asks Shanks "my girlfriends pregnant ! the lad answers…..(to the office next door) "Bob, Reuben, Ronnie Joe, come here quick" Shanks shouts to his lieutenants. "We’ve created a monster!"…
"(231) The short bus journey back (after training) to Anfield allowed the players just enough time to loosen up and cool down. – The result was an astonishing lack of injuries. Liverpool would field fewer players oover the season than any other club, – just 14 players in the entire 1965/66 season. It was fundemental in winning championships.- The journey back also helped to bond the players, – generally get to know each other in a leg-pulling atmosphere."
"(240) Joe Mercer summed Shankly up best when he claimed his image was really "a myth in so many ways. They say he’s tough, he’s hard, he’s ruthless. Rubbish, he’s got a heart of gold, he loves the game, he loves his fans, he loves his players. – …………..
(about Emlyn") …cost 65,000…Shankly had no misgivings.It was a huge fee, larger than any Liverpool had ever paid out , especially for a 19 year old.Yet by March he was in the first team. Shankly revelled in Hughes’s attitude, it was infectious , Hughes was enthusiastic, confident and over-whelmingly committed. – (one apprentice called Wynne) flooded the entire dressing room, Shankly put his armn round his shoulder and said "Ne’er mind laddie" Wynne "He could have so easily have destroyed me, instead he saved from being lynched by Lawrence and Yeats."
"(257) He would always recognise genuine Liverpool fans and his generosity towards them knew no bounds. ‘Liverpool FC is about them’ he argued. "They are the most knowledgeable crowd in the world, also the fairest" in hius years, fans would clamour at his door , asking for tickets, an autograph or just wanting to shake his hand. He never complained, although at time it tested Nessie’s patrience. "Football was their life" he once told Sue Lawley "They were more important than me, because they are the ones that pay the money" Its not a view common in management…- ""(270) In reality it was much the same as any other bootroom, – what perhaps set them apart from other management teams was that they were as much a team as the 11 that pulled on a shirt each saturday – From the start Shankly had demanded their loyalty , threatening anyone who stepped out of line, or was caught telling stories with the sack. They thought as one and acted as one. They were just as pationate as any of those supporters who stood on the Kop – All that came out of the bootroom was plain common sense"
"(276) Players were taught to search for open spacesand then make runs into those spaces. Quick , short accurate passing, before running into space. Don’t panic, dont get caught out by the counter-attack, don’t be over ambitious." It’s a ninety minute game" Shankly reminded them."
"(284) We won the cup, and the taxman came and took away all my bonuses" he told – " then they came back and took away my league bonus too. It was heartbreaking doing all that work for nothing. I thought the club might have paid the tax for me , but they wouldn’t" ..He’d spent 14 tears at Anfield , admired by the players and adored by the fans, yet he sometimes wondered if the directors cared……he’d never had much time for directors. They lived in a different to him, – swanky houses, bridge clubs, freemasonry, and the rest. He was still living in the same neat 3-bedroomed house that he had moved into back in 1960, still driving a modest car.When anyone knocked at the door, they were invited in , regardless whether he knew them or not,. Not the kind of thing today’s multi-millionaire football managers do."
"(290) Shankly never cared for politicians, they were "two-faced, even three-faced, "always trying to please one too many people" – Shankly’s adherence to Socialism could almost be taken for granted. – about compassion, sharing and the decency of working life. – "A mans politics are himself" – Ita was fundemental to him, like a living religion – he was not a regular churchgoer "But that’s not to say I don’t believe" – He was a political maverick, shunning authority, seeing out his own rules and beliefs. After Liverpool won the cup in 1974 (St George’s square) He had a higher message for his audience (of over 80,000) – " I’ve drummed it into my players – that they are privileged to play for you, – that they must be loyal, that they must never cheat you, the public" – "The Kop’s exclusive , an institution, – you feel you’re a member of a society , you’ve got thousands of friends around you and they’re united and loyal." – on to the football field , preaching to his sides to play with a touch of socialism; which meant players helping each other out, complimenting each other, being proud, and full of work and honour. But, at the end of the day, you had to stand up for yourself. he didn’t take to slackers"
"(292) Shankly hosted a show on radio city – Former Labour Prime minister Harold Wilson arrived with his entourage of minders, civil servants and police in tow, – producer Elton Welsby ; " It was astonishing to see this man, who had held the highest office in the land, in awe of a retired football manager!" – Shankly was in his element " Do you know who was the first Socialist?" (he asked ) .."err Ramsat Macdonald fumbled Wilson…" Nah " replied Shankly dismissively "Jesus Christ, son, Jesus Christ" Shankly had been a slave to football, he was even rumoured to have taken wife Nessie to a game at Rochdale on their wedding anniversary. "Nae, it was nae Rochdale" he growled " It was Rochdakle reserves"
"(294) Shankly had established the structure and the practice, other simply (although it was never simple) took over where he had left off"
"(299) At the end of the press conference, John Smith almost casually mentioned that Ray Kennedy (then Arsenal striker) was on his way – to Anfield. – Shankly had settled the Kennedy signing leaving behind a worthy legacy. It was his parting gift. Someone asked him " how would you sum up your career?" Well I was the best manager in Britain because I was never devious or cheated anyone. I’d break my wifes legs if I played against her, but I’d never cheat her"..- Shankly stood up, fighting back the tears. "There’ll not be many days like this, lads" he said as he made his way out of the room. Tom Williams wept openly and unashamedly. "
"(300+) Shanks; "the word retirement should be taken out of the dictionary" – At old trafford Busby had a seat with his name engraved on it – Shankly would never have asked for such a thing. If something wasn’t offered, then he would not ask. – (on receiving a souvenir from Tranmere director George Higham ) Shanks choked back the tears "I do all these events for people, yet nobody thinks about what i would like" …Highham; "He was very touched , people had been soaking him dry for years, and I think it hurt" – The news was scarcely believable "Shankly is Dead" was the headline splashed across the front page on the Liverpool Daily post that morning. Throughout the city , flags were at half mast . At Anfield they called the day’s training off and everybody hovered around the club not sure what to do, even though many of the players had never known Shanky.." – Paisley, Fagan , & Moran were in tears . Ron Yeats was heartbroken " He was like a second father to me" ….Over in Manchester, Matt Busby wept uncontrollably , unable to take any phone calls from journalists, at the Labour Party annual conference in Brighton, delegates stood in silence to remember a man who had always beem a socialist. – Everyone had a memory , a story to tell , some classic Shankly quip, but apart from his family the pain was felt most by those who had never met him, the ordinary football fans…..Shankly had brought something to their lives, enriching them with his enthusiasm and love of the game. They would never forget him. ..Shankly had seemed immortal.."
"(1) I could swear I saw him recently,in the dusk of an autumn evening as menacing clouds rolled in across the mersey. The last man out of Anfield. Switching off the lights, slamming the door shut, then shuffling across the car park towards the Shankly Gates. – Then off home towards West derby – the little tough guy, a slight stiffness in his walk, the legacy of 60 years of Football. – Tell us you haven’t gone Bill, Maybe it was Shankly maybe it wasn’t . in the half light…It was probably the memory playing tricks. But others have felt his presence too – Shankly is alive today as he was 30-odd years ago"
The people’s flag is deepest RED,
It shrouded oft our martyr’d dead
And ere their limbs grew stiff and cold,
Their hearts’ blood dyed its ev’ry fold.
Then raise the scarlet standard high,
Within its shade we’ll live and die,
Though cowards flinch and traitors sneer,
We’ll keep the RED flag flying here
Guardian ( I did the reverse to the media , excluding their BS!) boardroom conflict spans all five decades. In his recently republished memoirs Liverpool’s spiritual father remarks that the directors’ room where he had to fight for funds was so dark and gloomy that he called it "the morgue". He told Jimmy Melia in there: "Watch you don’t trip over the coffins."
Benítez, who adopts the posture in press conferences of a captured airman being interrogated by the enemy, is not devoid of wit. When the Guardian was interviewing Jamie Carragher at the club’s Melwood training ground, Benítez breezed past and called to his defender, "English lessons?" ‑ a joke aimed at the defender’s deep Scouse accent.
Levity, though, is in shorter supply on Merseyside this week than Manchester United bedspreads. Liverpool have lost as many games this season (10) as they have won and tonight’s Shankly retrospective will intensify the spotlight on Benítez, especially as Ian St John, an idol of the 60s, said after Sunday’s home defeat to Arsenal: "Don’t ask what Shanks would have made of it. I dread to think, and the timing of it makes me feel even more sad." Graeme Souness, another Anfield aristocrat, had claimed his alma mater were heading for "meltdown".
Nostalgia’s balm will doubtless soothe the congregation when nine Shankly family members and 15 players from his pomp (1959-1974) parade on the pitch at half-time and a mosaic evokes a time when the man from the mines of Glenbuck spotted special virtues in the Liverpudlian identity. Socialism, loyalty, unity and sober endeavour were the principles Shankly harnessed when he arrived to find Melwood "a wilderness" where "there were hills, there were hollows, there were trees, there was long grass", and where a passive acceptance of mediocrity was the norm until a change in culture provided the money to buy Ron Yeats and St John.
Older Kopites will recall a day mentioned by Kevin Keegan in his autobiography: "I’ll never forget the game soon after he [Shankly] had retired when he turned up at Anfield and stood with his beloved fans in the Kop. The first we players knew about it was when we heard the swelling chant from the supporters, ‘Shankly, Shankly, here he is, here he is’."
Keegan’s hero broke through with the league winning sides of 1964 and 1966. The next wave won the 1973 title and the FA Cup in his final year, with Tommy Smith, Emlyn Hughes, Keegan and Steve Heighway. Since he walked into his own wilderness of aimlessness and regret 35 years ago, when pathos splashed the script, Liverpool have been led by three Boot Room graduates (Bob Paisley, Joe Fagan and Roy Evans), two Anfield superstars (Kenny Dalglish and Souness) and two A-list European coaches who imported French (Gérard Houllier) and then Spanish cultures.
Each has been viewed inevitably as an inheritor of the Shankly tradition. The name is kept alive, too, by political resistance. The movement against the US owner-speculators, Tom Hicks and George Gillett, marches under the "Spirit of Shankly" banner, and the most emotive landmarks at the stadium, after the Hillsborough memorial, are the Shankly Gates and statue, which bears the epitaph: "He made the people happy."
This is the challenge all Liverpool managers are landed with: to be a brilliant comedian, statesman, team-builder and moral patriarch. Tommy Smith remembers Shankly rejecting a player after he had tested positive for a sexually transmitted disease during his medical. "I’m not having a philanderer here," he erupted. "This is a family club. Send him back."
The ultimate accolade is to be compared favourably to Shankly. The stamp of doom is to be dismissed as a vandal to his legacy. The cult is explained by Brian Reade in 43 Years With the Same Bird – A Liverpudlian Love Affair. Reade writes of Shankly: "In the lean years we stood by him, refusing to doubt that he would turn things around. In the early Seventies, when the trophies came flooding back, we ditched mere adoration and worshipped him like a pagan god. He started something unique in football: the manager as idol. A tradition Liverpool fans respect to this day under Benítez [the book was published in 2008].
"Look at the huge liver bird flag that spreads across the Kop shortly before every kick-off and you’ll see, down either side of it, not drawings of the greatest strikers over the years, but the managers. Listen to the songs sung about Benítez, as they were about Houllier, and you will hear a crowd reaching out to its leader, demanding a communion between the dug-out and the stands. It’s a cry to be loved, a request for the man who holds the club’s destiny in his hands to recognise his flock. And it dates directly back to Shankly. Imagine how that must have felt for Houllier and Benítez." St John wrote: "Shankly once said that his power over the fans made him feel like Chairman Mao."
Lfc museum curator Stephen Done selects his top 10 images of the great man.
10 Stephen Done: This is taken from the 1971 FA Cup final. It’s actually a game that Liverpool lost to Arsenal in extra-time. I’ve chosen a couple of photographs from this day because Shankly’s reaction to the defeat says everything about him. Here he is leading his team out and understandably he wants to portray a strong image. He’s beautifully dressed with a collar and tie on what was a very hot day. He has his hand on his heart and the badge of Liverpool FC. Look at his team walking out; a mixture of apprehension and nervousness. It’s just what you would expect ahead of a massive match. But there’s Shankly looking straight into the camera, looking totally self-assured and you can imagine how the players must have been inspired having a man like that lead them out.
9 SD: As I’ve mentioned, the 1971 FA Cup was a game we actually lost. But at the end of the game Steve Hale took what I believe to be an amazing photograph. Shankly is actually smiling. He still looks immaculately dressed, despite the stressful emotions he must have felt throughout both the 90 minutes and extra-time. You can see that his team are managing to look positive too. He may have lost, but there is something in his expression that suggests he knows his second great team are on the rise. At that time they were a work in progress, but he knew after that game that they were nearly there. Of course, we all know history proved him right. It shows that Shanks looked beyond just one match. He had visions of what could and would be achieved in the future. It is such a wonderfully upbeat picture. If you looked at it without any prior knowledge you would not think that Liverpool had just lost that match.
8 SD: I love this photograph. It’s a battered little coloured picture. In some ways it’s badly composed and you can see a photographer in the background who is in the way. These five men look a bit shabby in the mismatched training kit, but what is brilliant about it, is that this is one of the greatest dynasties in world football. This humble, normal group of men have achieved so much for the club over the years. There is no sign of Shankly the showman here. This is Shanks at his place of work. He hasn’t even managed to get a matching pair of bottoms to go with the top. Does he care? No, it’s not important. His job is to manage and coach a football team. So there he is, next to Bob Paisley, Ronnie Moran, Joe Fagan and Reuben Bennett- it’s quite unbelievable and so far removed from the game as we know it today.
7 SD: Another shot of Shankly walking out at Wembley, this time for the 1974 Charity Shield match between Liverpool and Leeds. I’ve chosen this for a number of reasons. It’s not only his final act as the Reds’ manager, but you can also see the great Brian Clough leading his team out and applauding Shankly. They were quite close friends. Don’t get me wrong, they were absolute rivals but there was a bond between them. In the club museum we even have the telegram from Clough congratulating Shankly on being named manager of the year in 1973. The picture is of a very smartly dressed man eager to impress. Classic Shankly really.
6 SD: This picture shows Bill Shankly the ex-Liverpool manager being congratulated by his successor, Bob Paisley. This is at Bill’s testimonial match at Anfield. It may have been brief, but Shankly actually took to the field to play in this match and it’s one of the few moments anyone actually saw Shanks in a red shirt. This shot was taken before the game and it’s a lovely picture. You have these two great men that, between 1960 and 1983, completely dominated English football. You can see a nice warm smile from the otherwise gritty Shankly.
5 SD: Here’s Shanks the player at home in 1938. He’s the proud owner of a beautiful radiogram. Here he is adjusting it, no doubt trying to get news on some football results! It’s so far removed from a modern day footballer, but that’s what makes it so wonderful. He would go on to play in the FA Cup final that year and win it with Preston North End. This was a man at the top of his game.
4 SD: This one always makes me chuckle. It’s like the dynamic duo, and it always makes me think of Batman and Robin! They are modelling their brand new Gola t-shirts and they aren’t doing a particularly great job of it! They are wearing these horrible shorts; one has his top tucked in, the other has it falling out. Paisley’s smiling, seeing it as a bit of fun, but Shankly is ever the showman and he’s adopting a more serious pose. What I love about it is that these two unlikely characters look anything but the men behind a football dynasty, but there is no escaping it, this duo are two of the greatest football managers ever.
3 SD: This is probably one of my all-time favourite football photographs, never mind Shankly images. This is Bill during his time at Huddersfield. Apparently, he was always up for playing football with Dads and lads on this piece of land somewhere in the town. The local press must have learned of this and they took this photograph. It’s absolutely wonderful. There’s Shankly going up for a header and you can be sure that whatever side he was playing on, they would keep going until his team won! I often think how great it must be to have been one of those kids in the picture. You can actually point to something that proves you played football with the great Bill Shankly.
2 SD: This is what I would regard as an iconic image of Liverpool Football Club. It is from the early 1960s, although we are a bit vague on the actual year. It shows Bill just taking a few moments out from a training session on the pitch. He’s holding his favourite ball, the famous T-ball. He’s pointing into the distance and just behind him is the wonderful roof of the Main Stand – sadly no longer with us after it was rebuilt in the early 70s. It’s beautifully framed by his head and his arm pointing. Why is he pointing? Well, it doesn’t matter does it? He used this stance over and over again and let’s face it, it just works.
1 SD: This is probably the greatest photograph ever taken of Bill Shankly. You could even go further than that, and say it is arguably the finest involving Liverpool Football Club. Having lost to Arsenal (1971 FA Cup final) the Reds came back to the city for what was an incredible homecoming. The supporters were all cheering and showing their support for Shankly and his players. Steve Hale stood on St George’s plateau and was amongst a bunch of other photographers who called out to Bill Shankly to turn around and face them. Thus ensued a sequence of pictures that culminated in this one. He turns around with his arms outstretched and just stares right into the lens. Here is a manager who is defiant and eager to secure more success for his loyal followers. THE iconic Liverpool FC image was born.
from the book "Its much more important than that" (S.F. Kelly)
"Fortnunately the spirit of Shankly still stalks Anfield. It always will! On dark windswept nights,his steel toecaps can be heard echoing down the corridors, his shoes scuffing the concrete floors as he makes for the dressing room.
You can sense his lurking in the corner as the team make their last-minute preparations, his fits clenched, ready with words of encouragement,. "Come on, son" he’s telling them, slapping each one on the back as they prepare to leave the dressing room "They’re rubbish that lot. They’re not fit to tie your bootlaces."………
……..And as the players make their way out, he tidies things around a little,. Its quiet in the dressing room now. He hangs up Roger Hunt’s sp[are shirt , sees that Kevin Keegan has some extra shin pads. The out he goes down the corridor, a smile here, a handshake there.
And as Shankly climbs the steps that lead out to the pitch, he reaches up to touch the "This is Anfield" sign. In the distance, you can hear the Kop singing a final chorus of "You’ll never walk alone". As it finishes, he emerges on to the pitch, looks towards his beloved fans on the Kop and raises his arms in salute. The Kop responds; Shank-lee, Shank-lee, Shank-lee" ……..