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

I know Ali got "Personality of the Century", but Shanks will always be number one in my book. My father was converted to the red faith (from Glasgow Rangers) in the mid 1960's by the power of this man. Can I share a story with you. My late Grandfather was a Liverpool fan all his life. Upon his retirement from the Docks in the late 1960's, he received his season ticket. He was shocked to find that the club had moved from his regular seat to one where he wasn't near the people he'd sat with for years, and where he'd get wet when it rained. My uncle took him to Anfield to try and get his old seat back. He explained he had just retired after working down the docks as man and boy. The people in the ticket office were completely unsympathetic, telling him that his seat was no longer available.

On leaving the office, he noticed Shanks walking in. "Bill, Bill" shouted by Grandfather, and the Great Man came over. My Grandfather explained the situation about his retirement, his time down the docks (working every night during the blitz) and a lifetime as a Liverpool fan. Shanks told him not to worry, to hang on and he'd sort it out. Five minutes later Shanks reappeared with the season ticket for my Grandfather's seat, and said ‚If you have any bother ever again, ask for me.‘ The man will always be number one in my book.

Colin Watt

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