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

"When I took a physiotherapy course before I became a manager, I learned some valuable things. Notably about the heart, the intake of food for an athlete and particularly the timing of meals before a match. I put this into use. When I came to Liverpool, I stopped the system of players having a big meal on the night before a game. I adopted the pattern of taking them away on Friday night, timing the journey to reach the hotel about 10 pm, where the players had tea, toast and honey and then straight to bed.

On the day of the match, three hours before the kick-off, they could have a steak or chicken or poached eggs. They did not have a cooked breakfast as well. It was simple diet and and the word "simple" came into most of my football thinking in training and playing as well. I ate the same sort of food all my life and I've always been a fitness fanatic. The food players had before a match is to preserve their strength, not build it up. Players find what suits them best by trial and error. If their demand fell within the limits I laid down, that was all right. I also expected them to eat properly when they were not at the club, not to eat stupid things when they were out of control. Most of them did that but I invariably knew when any of them had stepped off the rails in any way. In any case, it usually told on their performance."

Shankly's recipe for success seemed simple on the surface, but was anything but!

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