According to Karen Gill, Shankly's granddaughter, Bill used to listen faithfully to the same catalogue of songs before a big match to prepare himself mentally. "They gave him the inspiration that he needed and reflected the passion that he felt."
When Shankly.com (which is owned by LFChistory.net) published this article Karen Gill sent us a note saying: "I love the page where you have clips of his favourite songs." Karen then added: "Just wanted to congratulate you on the fantastic job that you've done revitalizing the website about my granddad. Well done you've really done him proud."
Here were youtube clips of Shanks' favourite songs performed by the artists that Bill used to listen to, but unfortunately they're constantly being removed off youtube due to copyright concerns, so here's the list. Hopefully you will find them on youtube or on their respective albums.
Gerry and the Pacemakers - You'll Never Walk Alone, Judy Collins - Amazing Grace, Peters & Lee - Welcome Home, Ray Charles - Take These Chains From My Heart, Engelbert Humperdinck - Please Release Me, Jim Reeves - I Love You Because, Tom Jones - Green Green Grass Of Home.
Throughout the next couple of years, whereas you state that Bill visited Bellefield, which is at the other end of Sandforth Close, he was a very, very frequent visitor to our school. He was given permission by the headmaster to use the school's facilities, which were at the time light years ahead of any other school in the city, and we became almost blase about seeing Bill as we went to the gym, the baths, the weights room or elsewhere. One day during a spring half-term holiday along with the rest of the school cross-country squad I turned up at the school at around 9.30, to find a game of football going on in the playground. Some local boys were playing there along with a couple of my teammates. Obviously I joined in and only then noticed a short haired older man, not resembling any of the teachers. When the ball went into play it was obvious that Shanks was playing too. I had died and was playing in heaven, and to make things better Bill was on my side. He spoke, you listened. He coached and you did as he said. And it worked, too. I have never played as well, and even when it was my turn to go in goal I performed out of my skin. A cross came over and I reached as high as I could and somehow managed to trap the ball against the 'bar', which was the underside of pillared shed some six foot or so off the ground. One of the other side charged into me. Not prepared to let down my side, most of all Shanks, I struggle to stop the ball from falling over the line. From nowhere Shanks arrived and saved the day. Pushing the boy away he took the ball out of my hands and congratulated me on a good save. He spotted the ball and took the free kick he had awarded himself. As the play developed up the yard he turned back to me and asked if I was OK. I stammered that I was and took a hefty pat of encouragement on my shoulders.
Bill said, "You're doing well, son", smiled and looked at me playing football in my athletics kit. He cocked his head to the side and told me "Aye, you've got footballer's legs." The ultimate hero had just paid me the ultimate compliment a 14 year old could receive. I was in ecstacy (as I am now writing this and remembering how good I felt for months afterwards).