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 demeanour 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

"It was just meeting him for the first five minutes that persuaded me that he was a good man and Liverpool would be a good club to be with. I can’t believe it when we were coming down the M6, with vice-chairman Sidney Reakes, who had a Rolls Royce at the time, and me and Bill in the back. I was only 22 and didn’t know what to say. Bill just turned round and said: 'Ron, I want you to captain the side. You will be my eyes, my ears and my voice on that pitch.' I thought to myself, 'bloody hell.' It’s a big thing at 22, and never ever seen the place. I did that for him, to captain Liverpool, for ten years. It was the best ten years of my career and my life."

RON YEATS

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