Yesterday (September 2nd) would have been the 96th birthday of Bill Shankly, the Scot who became one of English football’s most successful managers, notably at Liverpool. A feisty, outspoken man, Shankly is remembered as much for his utterances as his professional achievements, famously remarking that football was much more important than a matter of life and death.
On another occasion he asked a player who complained of an injured knee, “What do you mean your knee, it’s Liverpool’s knee!” Can’t imagine a manager getting away with that today.
However, while many of his sayings demonstrate his passion for the game, others reveal a dry sense of humour. We all know he said he’d close his curtains if Everton were playing at the bottom of his garden, but here are a couple of equally amusing, but lesser known examples of his wit.
On arriving in New York, being told it was it was 6.30pm and asked if he’d like to go to a bar: “I’m not having Yanks deciding what time it is for me. It’s half past eleven in Liverpool and I’m going to bed.”
On rumours that he took his wife to watch Rochdale on their wedding anniversary: “Of course I didn’t take my wife to see Rochdale as an anniversary present, it was her birthday. Would I have got married in the football season? Anyway, it was Rochdale reserves.”
Over to you, any Shankly-isms you’d like to share?