Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A Tribute To Shankly: The Greatest Red Ever

Today, September 29, is a sad
day in Liverpool as it's the date
when our greatest ever
manager Bill Shankly passed
We present a special tribute of
some of his most famous quotes
which will never be forgotten.
'Some people believe football is a
matter of life and death, I am
very disappointed with that
attitude. I can assure you it is
much, much more important
than that.'
'If you are first you are first. If
you are second you are nothing.'
'Liverpool was made for me and I
was made for Liverpool.'
'The trouble with referees is that
they know the rules, but they
don't know the game.'
'Son, you'll do well here as long
as you remember two things.
Don't over-eat and don't lose
your accent.' - to Ian St John
when he signed for Liverpool.
To a journalist who suggested
Liverpool were struggling - 'Ay,
here we are with problems at the
top of the league.'
Talking to a reporter about
Roger Hunt - 'Yes Roger Hunt
misses a few, but he gets in the
right place to miss them.'
Explaining to Kevin Keegan
what's expected of him at Anfield
- 'Just go out and drop a few
hand grenades all over the place
'I know this is a sad occasion,
but I think that Dixie would be
amazed to know that even in
death he could draw a bigger
crowd to Goodison than Everton
on a Saturday afternoon.' -
speaking at the funeral of
Everton legend Dixie Dean
'If Everton were playing at the
bottom of the garden, I'd pull the
'Sickness would not have kept
me away from this one. If I'd
been dead, I would have had
them bring the casket to the
ground, prop it up in the stands,
and cut a hole in the lid.' - after
beating Everton in the 1971 FA
Cup semi-final.
Addressing the Liverpool fans
who turned up in their
thousands to welcome the team
home despite losing to Arsenal in
the 1971 FA Cup final - 'Chairman
Mao has never seen a greater
show of red strength.'
After signing Ron Yeats - 'With
him in defence, we could play
Arthur Askey in goal.'
To Alan Ball after he'd signed for
Everton - 'Never mind Alan, at
least you'll be able to play next to
a great team.'
To Tommy Smith after he'd
turned up for training with a
bandaged knee - 'Take that poof
bandage off, and what do you
mean YOUR knee, it's
To the players after failing to sign
Lou Macari - 'I only wanted him
for the reserves anyway.'
To Ian St John - 'If you're not
sure what to do with the ball,
just pop it in the net and we'll
discuss your options afterwards.'
'In my time at Anfield we always
said we had the best two teams
on Merseyside - Liverpool and
Liverpool reserves.'
About the 'This is Anfield' plaque
- 'This is to remind our lads who
they're playing for, and to remind
the opposition who they're
playing against.'
'Of course I didn't take my wife
to see Rochdale as an
anniversary present. It was her
birthday amd would I have got
married during the football
season? Anyway, it was Rochdale
Shankly to the Brussels hotel
clerk who queried his signing
'Anfield' as his address on the
hotel register - 'But that's where
I live.'
Shankly explaining rotation to a
reporter - 'Laddie, I never drop
players, I only make changes.'
Comparing the Anfield pitch to
other grounds - 'It's great grass
at Anfield, professional grass!'
'The difference between Everton
and the Queen Mary is that
Everton carry more passengers!'
To a local barber, who in 1968
had asked 'Anything off the top?
Shanks retorted - 'Aye, Everton!'
On awaiting Everton's arrival for
a derby game at Anfield, Shankly
gave a box of toilet rolls to the
doorman and said - 'Give them
these when they arrive - they'll
need them!'
'I always look in the Sunday
paper to see where Everton are
in the league - starting, of course,
from the bottom up.'
To Chris Lawler during a training
session at Melwood - 'Was it a
goal? Was I offside?' Lawler
replied - 'You were boss.' Shanks
then quipped - 'Christ, son,
you've been here four years,
hardly said a word and, when
you do, it's a bloody lie!'
To Tommy Smith during training
- 'You son, could start a riot in a
'There's Man. Utd and Man. City at
the bottom of Division 1, and by
God they'll take some shifting.'
'It's a 90 minute game for sure.
In fact I used to train for a 190
minute game so that when the
whistle blew at the end of the
match I could have played
another 90 minutes.'
On a wartime Scotland v England
match - 'We absolutely
annihilated England. It was a
massacre. We beat them 5-4.'
After losing to Ajax in the 1967
European Cup - 'We cannae play
these defensive continental
Shanks and Tommy Docherty
were at a game. There was a
player every other club coveted
on view. Docherty said to Shanks
- '100,000 wouldn't buy him.'
Shanks retorted - 'Yeah, and I'm
one of the 100,000!'
What Shanks disliked about
football - 'The end of the season.'
Radio Merseyside reporter to
Shankly - 'Mr Shankly, why is it
that your teams' unbeaten run
has suddenly ended?' Shanks
replied: 'Why don't you go and
jump in the lake?'
On hearing a rival manager was
unwell - 'I know what's wrong -
he's got a bad side!'
To reporters after a 3-0 defeat -
'They're nothing but rubbish.
Three breakaways, that's all they
Talking about Tommy Smith - 'If
he isn't named Footballer of the
Year, football should be stopped
and the men who picked any
other player should be sent to
the Kremlin.'
To a translator, when being
surrounded by gesticulating
Italian journalists - 'Just tell them
I completely disagree with
everything they say!'
After winning the FA Cup in 1974
Shankly goes into a fish and chip
shop and orders a fish supper.
The woman at the counter asks -
'Mr Shankly, shouldn't they be
having steak suppers?' Shanks
replied - 'No lass, they'll get steak
suppers when they win the
To the Anfield PA during a match
- 'Jesus Christ, son, can ye no' talk
into that microphone when the
players are in the penalty box.
You're putting them off, you're
doing more damage than the
Shankly on boardroom meetings
- 'At a football club, there's a holy
trinity - the players, the manager
and the supporters. Directors
don't come into it. They are only
there to sign the cheques.'
Talking about the Liverpool fans -
'I'm just one of the people who
stands on the kop. They think the
same as I do, and I think the
same as they do. It's a kind of
marriage of people who like each
Explaining on what the off-side
rule should be - 'If a player is not
interfering with play or seeking
to gain an advantage, then he
should be.'
'I was only in the game for the
love of football - and I wanted to
bring back happiness to the
people of Liverpool.'
'"If you can't make decisions in
life, you're a bloody menace.
You'd be better becoming an
When told he had never
experienced playing in a derby -
'Nonsense! I've kicked every ball,
headed out every cross. I once
scored a hat-trick; One was lucky,
but the others were great goals.'
After a 0-0 draw at Anfield -
'What can you do playing against
11 goalposts!'
Waxing lyrical about Ian
Callaghan - 'He typifies everything
that is good in football, and he
has never changed. You could
stake your life on Ian.'
'Fire in your belly comes from
pride and passion in wearing the
red shirt. We don't need to
motivate players because each of
them is responsible for the
performance of the team as a
whole. The status of Liverpool's
players keeps them motivated.'
'Football is a simple game based
on the giving and taking of
passes, of controlling the ball and
of making yourself available to
receive a pass. It is terribly
On the leaving of Liverpool - 'It
was the most difficult thing in
the world, when I went to tell the
chairman. It was like walking to
the electric chair. That's the way
it felt.'

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