Bill Shankly – Manager of Liverpool FC
The late Bill Shankly was born in 1913 in Glenbuck, a small Scottish mining village.
Since many of Shankly’s family were involved in football it was inevitable that he would follow a similar path into the game, the alternative being a long career down the mines.
Shankly’s career as a wing back in professional football included a short spell at Carlisle United followed by almost 300 games for Preston North End, managing to win only seven international caps for Scotland in an international career that was hampered by the onset of the Second World War.
Bill Shankly returned to his first professional club, Carlisle United, to start out on what was to prove a very successful career in football management which also include spells at Grimsby Town, Workington and Huddersfield Town.
Shankly was appointed manager of a struggling second division Liverpool team in December 1959 and started a revolution of the club which culminated in Liverpool winning the first division championship in 1964, followed quickly by an FA Cup win in 1965 and another first division championship in 1965.
The UEFA Cup win under Shankly in 1973 was to prove the first of many European trophies over the next 35 years, coming in the same season Liverpool won yet another first division championship.
The following year was bitter-sweet for Liverpool as after another FA Cup win Shankly surprised Liverpool’s board, fans & players with his shock resignation.
The famous all red kit of Liverpool, red shirts and red shorts was down to Shankly. In their first season in Europe (1964/65) he suggested that Big Ron Yeats would look even bigger if he wore red shorts with his red top. Rumour has it that Ian St.John then suggested they might as well wear red socks as well and since then Liverpool have played in their famous all red kit.
The legacy that Shankly left behind was the foundations for all the successes that Liverpool have achieved since his reign at the club, many would argue that without Shankly the club would never have later gone on to win five European Cup Final victories.
The Shankly gates at Liverpool’s Anfield ground are a permanent memorial to the great manager and are even incorporated into the club’s badge.
Shankly Quotes are often repeated to this day and give a great insight into his view of football and of his beloved Liverpool team.
“Football is a simple game made complicated by people who should know better”
“There are two great teams on Merseyside, Liverpool and Liverpool Reserves”
“If Everton were playing at the bottom of my garden I’d draw the curtains”
And perhaps the most commonly repeated of all Bill Shankly Quotes:
“Football’s not a matter of life or death. It’s much more important than that.”
Thomas Holte writes on behalf of Soccerprint.