“From match one to match 1000 took me 47 years and 343 days.”
This is 76. He retired in 74.. well the book came out in 76 and I’d read in the book, he’d said supporters sometimes come to the house and I knew where he lived. So on a Saturday morning when Liverpool were at home, I travelled up from London with a friend on the railway and stayed in the Adelphi Hotel on the Friday night..
And we got the bus out to West Derby on the Saturday morning and I marched up his drive and rang the bell, very nervously, I didn’t know what was going to happen. And the door opens and this recognisable figure is peering down at me from the door, you know, a ‘What do you want?’ look. And I said “I’m sorry to bother you Mr Shankly. I wonder if you’d be kind enough to sign my copy of your book?”.. and what he did was, he opened the door wider and beckoned us in.
So he took us in to his house and we sat down.. and in Liverpool they have, well they sort of have two living rooms don’t they. One’s for living in and the others for entertaining in. So I think their front room was for entertaining, and we went in to the back room, which was their, sort of, living room.. and sat us down and Nessie got us both (me and my friend Donny) something to eat and drink… and I’d like to say that we talked with him for an hour but the reality is, he talked and we listened. Because he knew we were nervous and starstruck, he could see that.. but they were both very, very nice.. and if I had that hour again Emma there is so much that I would ask now that I didn’t ask then, that I regret not asking. It’s like, you know, there’s lots of things I’d like to sit down and talk to my Father about but he’s been gone for 13 years and I can’t.
But that hour with Shankly was very special.
‘76 I was 23.
But I was really starstruck. I mean I hadn’t expected to get any further than the front door. I hoped that he’d be in and sign the book and then I could be on my way to the match. Didn’t expect to be invited in. Didn’t expect to be treated like a King.. you know.. in the King’s house. And I know we weren’t the only people that went to his house but they were both very hospitable and friendly. They treated us as if they’d known us all their lives and they didn’t know us from Adam..