For all his achievements as manager of Liverpool Football Club, Bill Shankly offered so much more to a city he loved.
Whether it was a kick-about on the local park with a group of children, or dealing with the numerous amounts of ticket requests that came through his door, Shankly treated everyone equally. It was this socialist attitude which would endear him to the city of Liverpool and its people.
In fact, Shankly once said: “The socialism I believe in is everyone working for each other, everyone having a share of the rewards. It’s the way I see football, it’s the way I see life.”
Such was his love for the game, that Shankly even had time for Everton fans whenever he visited Goodison Park for a match after he retired as Liverpool manager. Despite his famous jibes at the Toffees, deep down Shankly respected the club and lived near their Bellefield training ground.
However, regardless of allegiances, the man from Glenbuck
had a great passion for the city and would speak about it so
He once said: “I'm just one of the people who stand 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.”
What a marriage it was - whenever Liverpool won a trophy
throughout Shankly’s reign, he would always ensure the
supporters were a part of the celebrations, from speeches
highlighting the fans’ importance, to parading trophies in
front of the Kop.
Famously, Shankly once saved a young fan’s scarf from
being kicked away by a policeman after it had been tossed
onto the pitch during Liverpool’s First Division championship
celebrations in May 1973.
Shankly was angered by the policeman and pounced on the
scarf, reprimanding him by saying: "Don't do that. This might
be someone's life".
After his retirement, Shankly explained his relationship with the club and city in his own unique way: "I was only in the game for the love of football – and I wanted to bring back happiness to the people of Liverpool."
By Joel Richards, JMU Journalism Liverpool Life
More JMU Journalism stories
YouTube: Shankly with the Kop in 1973; Shankly had an effect on the city that transcended the game itself
BILL SHANKLY MEMORIAL COVERAGE
© Trinity Mirror