Listen to Shankly's memorial service


Liverpool's greatest, Bill Shankly, died on Tuesday 29th September 1981 after suffering a heart attack. The front page of Echo read: SHANKLY IS DEAD. It recorded the official hospital statement: "Mr Shankly suffered a cardiac arrest at 12.30 am and was certified dead at 1.20." Shanks had been battling for life since he suffered a heart attack early on Saturday morning. He had been making good progress until his condition deteriorated yesterday morning and he was transferred to the Intensive Care Unit. His wife Nessie was by his side when he died."

Listen to Bill Shankly‘s memorial service (play with Real Player) "A service of Thanksgiving for the life of Bill Shankly" that was broadcast on BBC Radio Merseyside from Liverpool's Cathedral on 22nd November 1981.

A number of Shanks' favourite hymns are sung; Amazing Grace, Onward Christian Soldiers, Lord I Trust Thee and the Battle Hymn of the Republic.

Three of Shanks' friends take the podium to talk about the attributes that Shanks prized the most; Kevin Keegan on integrity, Tom Finney on enthusiasm and Bob Paisley on inspiration.

Ian St John addresses the congregration and Gerry Marsden concludes the proceedings by singing You'll Never Walk Alone.

Note there are short sound disruptions that occur on occasion in this hour long recording.

Copyright - BBC - made available for download from BBC's website

Shanks quote

"Tommy Lawrence was frightened to death of Shanks. He was just a young boy. He had been there since he was 16-year-old. He got his chance in ’61. I’ll always remember we were playing Arsenal for the first time in 8 years because Liverpool had been in the 2nd division. We were winning 1-0 with 10 minutes to go and I thought, 'what a good win this will be at Arsenal.' I can’t remember the Arsenal’s striker name that hit the ball from 25 yards. I am not joking, but he stubbed his toe first and then hit the ball. It trickled by me and I went 'it’s yours, Tommy.' Tommy was on the line and opened his legs and the bloody ball went right through him. I couldn’t believe it. They put the pressure on us for the last five minutes, but we held out.

I am thinking to myself all this time, 'when we get into that dressing room I am going to get into the bath before Shanks come in the door.' Little did I know that the ten players I was playing with thought the same thing. When the final whistle went... if we had sprinted that much during the game we would have won it easily. Everybody was trying to hurry into the dressing room but it wasn’t quick enough. The door opened and in came Shanks. His face was blue and I am thinking, 'here it goes.' He went, 'where is he?' I didn’t realise, but big Tommy Lawrence was behind me. I was three inches bigger than him and didn’t know where he was. His finger went up and he said, 'I am here, boss.' 'Where?' 'I am here, boss.' He said, 'before you say anything, boss, I want to apologize to you and the lads. I should have never opened my legs to that ball.' Shankly went, 'it’s not your fault. It’s your fucking mother who should have never opened her legs.'"

RON YEATS

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