Shankly's arrival

Liverpool’s chairman TV Williams issued the following statement on 1st of December 1959:

"Mr Bill Shankly, manager of Huddersfield Town was last night appointed manager of Liverpool Football Club in succession to Mr Phil Taylor, who resigned on November 17. He has accepted the position, but has agreed to stay on at Leeds Road for another month before coming to Anfield in the early days of the New Year, unless circumstances permit an earlier release."

Few could imagine what impact this man would have but the Daily Post reporter knew there was something special on the way:

"The new manager’s confidence and firm resolve are infectious. Nobody can be in his company for more than a few minutes and not realise that here is rare driving force who will not spare himself no pains to get the job he has in view. The players will find him fair, friendly, and always willing to help and advise, but in return he will demand a high price - the last possible ounce of effort each player is able to give."

Circumstances did permit an earlier arrival to Liverpool than in the New Year and on the 14th of December Shankly arrived for good. Shankly declared his vision for the club: "I am very pleased to and proud to have been chosen as manager of Liverpool FC, a club of such potential. It is my opinion that Liverpool have a crowd of followers which rank with the greatest in the game. They deserve success and I hope, in my own small way, I am able to do something towards to help them achieve it. I make no promises except that from the moment I take over I shall put everything into the job I so willingly undertake."

The press loved his demeanor and the Liverpool Echo was under his spell: "Quite a character this new Liverpool manager is, Bill Shankly whose face might just as well find a place in any Stadium album as in the hall of fame as a Preston and Scottish international half-back not so many seasons ago. The thing that most impacts you about him is his burning zeal for good class football and for supreme fitness. As he says: ‘Anyone who isn’a fit canna play fitba and he’s not much use for anything else.’ This man if my reading of him is correct is a disciplinarian, a go-getter, a hard-hitter and someone who has enough confidence in himself to come here and say 'Never mind about a contract, give me the team and leave the rest to me.'"

Shanks quote

"Tommy Lawrence was frightened to death of Shanks. He was just a young boy. He had been there since he was 16-year-old. He got his chance in ’61. I’ll always remember we were playing Arsenal for the first time in 8 years because Liverpool had been in the 2nd division. We were winning 1-0 with 10 minutes to go and I thought, 'what a good win this will be at Arsenal.' I can’t remember the Arsenal’s striker name that hit the ball from 25 yards. I am not joking, but he stubbed his toe first and then hit the ball. It trickled by me and I went 'it’s yours, Tommy.' Tommy was on the line and opened his legs and the bloody ball went right through him. I couldn’t believe it. They put the pressure on us for the last five minutes, but we held out.

I am thinking to myself all this time, 'when we get into that dressing room I am going to get into the bath before Shanks come in the door.' Little did I know that the ten players I was playing with thought the same thing. When the final whistle went... if we had sprinted that much during the game we would have won it easily. Everybody was trying to hurry into the dressing room but it wasn’t quick enough. The door opened and in came Shanks. His face was blue and I am thinking, 'here it goes.' He went, 'where is he?' I didn’t realise, but big Tommy Lawrence was behind me. I was three inches bigger than him and didn’t know where he was. His finger went up and he said, 'I am here, boss.' 'Where?' 'I am here, boss.' He said, 'before you say anything, boss, I want to apologize to you and the lads. I should have never opened my legs to that ball.' Shankly went, 'it’s not your fault. It’s your fucking mother who should have never opened her legs.'"

RON YEATS

This website is owned by LFChistory.net
BobPaisley.com
BillyLiddell.com