William Shankly, popularly known as Bill Shankly, was a Scottish footballer and manager, who is best known for his time as the manager of Liverpool FC. He is responsible for bringing success to Liverpool and getting the club promoted to the First Division and in the meantime, winning three League Championships and the coveted UEFA Cup. The charismatic and iconic figure at the club was also known for his oratory skills and was one of the first to identify the enthusiasm of the crowds and stirred their emotions of the fanbase in rebuilding the team.
Shankly is often cited as the person responsible for turning the fortunes of the Second Division and going nowhere club to laying foundations on which his successors were able to build on. They went on to win seven League Championship titles and four European titles in the ten seasons, following his retirement in 1974.
Coming from a small Scottish mining community, Shankly was one of the five brothers who played professional football. He represented Scotland on 12 occasions, which included seven wartime internationals. He also represented Carlisle United for one season before migrating to Preston North End, where he spent the rest of his career and even part of the FA Cup squad in 1938. His playing stints were interrupted by his service in the Royal Air Force during the Second World War, however, he retired from competitive football in 1949. He returned to Carlisle United as a manager in the same year and later moved to manage Grimsby Town, Workington and Huddersfield.
When Shankly arrived at Anfield in 1959, Liverpool were a Second Division club. The training facility at Melwood was in shambles and home ground itself was not a pretty sight. His time and efforts were dedicated to rebuild the club into a major player in the English and European football circles. He led Liverpool to the Second Division Championships to gain entry to the English top flight in 1962. It was during his managerial reign that the club went on to win three First Division Championships, two FA Cups, four Charity Shields and one UEFA Cup. In the same era, the club changed to an all red attire and You'll Never Walk Alone became its anthem.
Liverpool FC took to Twitter to pay homage to one of its greatest managers with an photo post on the micro blogging site.
The post was captioned as, "On this day in 1959, the great Bill Shankly was appointed manager of the Reds," with a red heart emoji. The post has been shared across social media platforms and has gained hundreds of appreciative comments from users.
Bill Shankly announced a surprise retirement from football right after Liverpool won the FA Cup in 1974. He managed the club for 15 years and was succeeded by his long-time assistant Bob Paisley. He led his beloved club for the last time at Wembley for the FA Charity Shield fixture in 1974.
He is considered as one of Britain's most successful and respected football managers. Shankly died on the morning of September 26, 1981. He was 68.
He was among the inaugural inductees into the English and Scottish Football Hall of Fame in 2002 and 2004, respectively. Today, the great man's statue stands before his favourite Kop at Anfield and the Shankly Gates bear the immortal words 'You'll Never Walk Alone'.