Bill Shankly is synonymous with Liverpool Football Club and he is possibly one of the greatest football managers of all time. Leading Liverpool from Second division mediocrity, Shankly turned the club into a major force within English football and set the foundations for a team that would dominate domestic and European football for decades to come.
No one could have possibly foreseen the ‘Glory Days’ ahead when Bill Shankly became manager in 1959, ironically he had been interviewed for the managers job at Liverpool in 1951 but lost out to Don Welsh, Liverpool were later relegated to Division Two under Welsh and he was succeeded by Phil Taylor in 1956, and while coming close, Taylor couldn’t succeed in restoring Liverpool to the First division and he resigned prior to Bill Shanklys’ appointment.
Shankly began his managerial career at Carlisle United and he also managed Grimsby, Workington and Huddersfield Town before his tenure at Liverpool, and if he wasn’t already aware of the enormity of his task, a 4-0 home defeat by Cardiff City a few days after commencing his post gave a sharp reality check for what was required.
Bill Shankly began the Liverpool revolution by releasing twenty-four of the existing players and immediately searching for players to rebuild the team, among them were Ron Yeats and Ian St John two players who went onto become Liverpool legends in their own right.
An overhaul of the training facilities soon followed and helped with the support of his backroom staff Bob ข่าวลิเวอร์พูล Paisley, Joe Fagan, and Reuben Bennett the foundations were in place. New tactics and training methods, a greater emphasis on team building, and a much needed injection of spirit and desire to win, soon started to pay dividends.
By the 1961-62 season Liverpool had won the Second division by eight points, scoring 99 goals, and they were on their way back to the First division. The first season after promotion saw Liverpool finish 8th in the League, while many teams would have been happy with that Bill Shankly wanted more, and the following season 1963-64 Liverpool won the League title.
Liverpool were now on a roll, the 1964-65 season saw them win their first FA Cup when they beat Leeds United 2-1 in the Final, and although they didn’t win the league this season, they reached the European Cup semi-finals, which gave them a taste for future European adventures.
The 1965-66 season saw Liverpool play some outstanding football as they regained the League title incredibly using just 14 players all season. Liverpool also reached the European Cup Winners Cup Final, but narrowly lost out to Borussia Dortmund.
By the end of the 1960’s it was obvious that Liverpool needed to rebuild, and despite their great service to the club the players of the 60’s were aging. Players such as Hunt, Yeats and Ian St John left the club and Keegan, Heighway, Hughes, Toshack and Clemence were signed, the new Liverpool had arrived.
After narrowly losing to Arsenal in the 1971 FA Cup final, they missed out on the 1972 league title by just one point. In 1972-73 Liverpool regained the league title, and they won the first European trophy, by beating German side Borussia Moenchengladbach to win the UEFA Cup.
The following season Liverpool easily beat Newcastle United to win the FA Cup, although no-one knew at the time this would be Bill Shankly’s last game as the Liverpool manager. On the 12th July 1974, Bill Shankly announced that he was stepping down as Liverpool manager, news that shook the football world.