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.
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.
My everlasting memory of "Shanks" was as a young boy attending an amateur boxing night at the Pirrie Labour Club in Liverpool. My father was on the door that night and Shanks was due to do the prize giving. When Shanks arrived my father jokingly said that he had booked Shanks in for a three round exhibition bout at the end of the night, Shanks quick as a flash in that Scottish Burr replied "My fights don't last three rounds Son". I suppose you had to be there, but that memory and the Man will live with me forever. Thanks for a truly great site.