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

On 12 July 1974 I was at school in Sandfield Park, right next to Bill and Nessie Shankly's house. When the rumour spread that Our Messiah had retired incredulity, denial, fear, and a whole host of other emotions ran unchecked through the classrooms. At the end of the day, a day of media frenzy, a group left St Edward's College, walked through the Park and climbed over the wall at the end of Sandforth Close and walked on up to Bill's purple front door. Wearing blazers to match, and summoning every ounce of courage, the bravest of our group knocked at the door.
Nessie answered and was asked "Is Bill there, please?" by the 12 year-olds assembled. The great man came out.
"Have you retired, Bill?"
"Aye, son. I have."
"Aah, eh, Bill."
"Aye, son?"
"Aah don't. Please, Bill."
"Aah, I'm sorry son."
And the moment ended with Bill signing his autograph on all manner of paper, though not our exercise books or we would all have been in trouble with masters at our rugby playing school who simply wouldn't have understood the significance."

Gerry Crute

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