Writer: Joe Brown
Date:Saturday March 3 2007
Bill Shankly (1949 - 1974)
'Football's not a matter of life or death - it's much more important than that.' Bill Shankly's famous statement may have been somewhat tongue-in-cheek but nobody could deny the commitment and the passion of the man who many would argue made Liverpool FC.
That said, what many people will not know is that he was first interviewed for the post in 1951 by Liverpool director T.V. Williams for the vacancy at Anfield but the club decided to go for a bigger name.
Shankley managed Huddersfield Town from 1956 until departing for Liverpool. It wasn`t until 1959 that his chance came, when Mr. Williams offered him the manager's job at Anfield - something Shankly gladly accepted, and the club never looked back.
He remained in place until 1974, when he stunned fans by retiring from the game, but his work was done. Shankly had transformed Liverpool into a major force in English and European football and club's continued success in the years that followed owed much to the foundations that he had laid.
Bill Shankly set the standards that his successors, and rivals, would strive to achieve.
UEFA Cup (1973)
Division 1 Champions (1964, 1966, 1973)
Division 2 Champions (1962)
FA Cup (1965, 1974)
'If you are first you are first, if you are second you are nothing.'
'Football's not a matter of life or death - it's much more important than that.'
Vitalview, you can't help but wonder if the club had tried harder to hang onto Shankley, how different things might have been. Its credit to the Liverpool board at the time that they recognised the value of Shankley. Well done to Liverpool for building on his success.
Date:Saturday March 3 2007
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