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

"We were staying and playing in Belgium one time, and this night Chris Lawler and I had gone to a casino just opposite the hotel but the rest of the lads had gone down to the village for a drink after the game. At twelve o'clock Shanks stormed into the casino and dragged us back to the hotel. We knew he was in a foul mood, and we were up in our rooms, looking down the road, when we heard the rest of them coming back.. there was Gerry Byrne, Roger Hunt, Geoff Strong, Tommy Lawrence, Gordon Milne, all singing and kicking a few beer cans along, that sort of thing. There was a small playground in front of the hotel and they were mucking about on the swings. We knew Shanks was waiting downstairs, so we tried to tell them to quieten it a bit, but they didn't pay any attention. Too far gone for that! It was about half-past one, and they came falling into the lobby, shouting and bawling, and Shanks was so flabbergasted he didn't know what to do or where to start, and of all people he picks on Cally. 'You, Callaghan... ', he says, and you can see he's reaching for the right thing to say. 'You... I'm going to tell your wife on you!' Everybody just collapsed!"

TOMMY SMITH

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