Shankly's Greatest Team

On September 10th 1999, a special celebration of Bill Shankly's time at Liverpool was held in the city's Moat House Hotel. The theme of the evening was the unveiling of the greatest eleven players to play for Liverpool under Shankly's management.

The initiative was the brainchild of The Liverpool Daily Post and Echo, and the idea was put to its readers, who over a period of time, submitted the names of the players who they deemed worthy of selection to an 'All-time' Shankly eleven.

Some readers submitted individual names whilst others named a whole team and the result was the biggest ever sporting poll conducted by the Echo.

In his 15 years as manager, Shankly used the incredibly low number of 69 players. Many of these players, perhaps inevitably, played only a handful of games. As a marker of how dramatically the game has changed, it's an amazing statistic.

    

    1. Ray Clemence             2. Chris Lawler              3. Gerry Byrne

     

      4. Tommy Smith              5. Ron Yeats               6. Emlyn Hughes

  

    7. Kevin Keegan               8. Roger Hunt                9. Ian St John

 

  10. Peter Thompson         11. Ian Callaghan


Emlyn Hughes, Liverpool's captain from 1973-78 gave an inspirational and typically emotional speech, saying "We have seen what Manchester United have achieved in recent years, but they will never, ever match Liverpool F.C., which is still the greatest club in the world."

Of those selected for the greatest team, only Kevin Keegan, Ray Clemence and Ian St. John were unable to attend but they each sent individual messages of support. Mrs. Nessie Shankly, Bill's wife, also sent a message saying how proud she was that Bill's boys were together again.

*Although undoubtedly a Liverpool all time great, Billy Liddell did not feature in the greatest Shankly side because he only played a very small number of matches for Liverpool in Bill's early days at the club.

Shanks quote

"We were at home to Scunthorpe reserves and the ball went in to the stands. Shanks went to take the throw and he started talking to the crowd. He was having a great time taking questions and the referee had to go over and give him a telling off. At half-time he was fuming. 'I was just telling 'em about the first team game away last week, trying to get a bit of atmosphere.'"

TOM DALEY - Grimsby goalkeeper in the 50s (Daley often played in the same reserve team as Bill and watched him enjoying himself)

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