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Bill Shankly


From the moment he arrived in December 1959, William Bill Shankly from Glenbuck, was destined for success from the start, with his quote 'My idea was to build Liverpool into a bastion of invincibility. Napoleon had that idea. He wanted to conquer the bloody world. I wanted Liverpool to be untouchable. My idea was to build Liverpool up and up until eventually everyonewould have to submit and give in' giving Liverpool fans a reason to be exited

He built Liverpool up into the European force what they are today, when he arrived, the club was labouring in the second division, the ground was falling to pieces, and the training ground was in a terrible state, overgrown, and had only water tap. But Shankly changed it with his bare hands, as he layed every piece of grass on that Melwood training pitch. He reinvented the word Training, bringing in new methods, such as fitness training, diet assesment, skills training, and an artificial goal painter on a brick wall, with eight squares, where Shankly demanded his players to hit each time, whilst he also introduced five-a-side games to improve his sides pass and move, and awarness of players around them, and to keep them moving into the right places. Also, he made the team meet at Anfield so they could get the bus to Melwood for training, and then afterwards get a shower, change and eat a meal, mainly Steak and Chips, as Shankly demanded all his squad warm down in the correct manner so that no other injuries could be picked up. He built Liverpool up from Second division champions to FA Cup winners for the first time in the clubs history, which gave him a special place in the clubs history, and the heart of every Kopite, but his love from every Kopite, was helped by the way he viewed them, or as he called them 'His People'. Shankly himself had come from a working class background, and knew how he wanted his team to perform for the fans, and if the team failed to perform, he felt as though he was letting the fans down. A story of the final day of the season in 1973 shows Shanklys love for the club. As the team made their way along the Kop on their Lap Of Honour after winning the championship, a young fan through a scarf down towards Shankly, only for one of the policeman at the bottom of The Kop to kick it away. Shanks saw this and collared to policeman. ' Dont do that, that scarfs that boys life', before picking up the scarf, and tying it around his neck, before walking off, arms aloft, to salute 'His People', as he continued his slow walk around the Anfield pitch, looking up, in awe, at the fans who vacated the stands around the Anfield pitch, with a pleading look in his eyes, almost saying to the Kop, ' Tell me ive just put your dreams into reality' .Many Stories are told of him getting many fans tickets, as they sent letter pleading, hed reply, usually by typewrite, writing personaly to every single letter he recieved, he also bought a fan a ticket for the UEFA Cup final, even though Shankly was no longer manager. His Quotes will be remembered as much as his signings, or famous victorys. He was a man of the fans, making them happy was his aim, and often acheived with comments in interviews, for instance, many an interview contained a quote about Liverpools Merseyside rivals Everton, which will go down in History, such as ' Theres two great teams in Liverpool, Liverpool and Liverpool Reserves', ' If Everton were playing at the bottom of my garden, id pull the curtains', and ' I'm sure Dixie would of been happy to know that he attracted a bigger crowd than Everton do most weekends', as he commented on the passing of Everton legend Dixie Dean. His signings changed the face of the club, bringing in such names as Ron Yeats, Ian St John, Gordon Milne, Peter Thompson, and new players such as Kevin Keegan, Stevie Heighway, Larry Lloyd, and Ray Clemence replacing the old brigade, the likes of Hunt, Yeats and Lawerence, as Shankly always praised them for their contributions to Liverpool Football Club, but knew when it was the right time to move players on. After giving Newcastle a lesson in football in a 3-0 win in the 1974 FA Cup final, fans believed Shankly could take them to new heights, such as European success. But in July 1974, at the age of 60 years old, he rocked the footballing world, the city of Liverpool and the club to its very foundations, by resigning, as he wanted to spend more time with his wife and family, as he had devoted his life to football, and felt the need to pay his family back. Liverpool fans treated the news like a death. But it would be Shanklys assistant, who would become his successor leading Liverpool to European success. Shankly stayed at Melwood, treated it like his home, as he regretted resigning, but the board was unhappy, as it wasnt allowing new boss Paisley to success, as he had his old master watching over his shoulder, whilst all the players still called Shankly boss. Shankly passes away on 26th September 1981, a fitting year, as Liverpool secured their third European cup againgst Real Madrid, as had it not been for Shankly, they may still have been labouring in division two. Shankly was awarded for his triumphs in football, with a mere OBE, maybe had he been working at the other side of the East Lancs Road, he would of been worthy of a Knighthood, which would still not have been fitting enough for the great man. He died knowing the side he had brought from its knees, had beaten European royalty, to secure their third European cup in four years. One moment for me, sums up Shankly. A young fan sent Shankly a letter, regarding him not being involved in the new years honest list, and missing out on a knighthood. Shanklys reply was ' It is very good of you to write on my half, I appreciate it. However, i am not really dissapointed about not being recognised. The people who dish out the honours are not my people, my people go to Anfield. If i can make you all happy, then that is my greatest ambition'