18.12.1999 - Coventry 2-0 - Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of Bill Shankly's arrival at Anfield. A mosaic across the top of the Kop spelt the word 'SHANKS'. Below were two images of Shanks' face flanking the Cross of St Andrew.
"Some of the great names from Liverpool's past 40 years were introduced to the fans, the two Scots pipers on the pitch played Shankly's favourite hymn, Amazing Grace. On The Kop the Kopites held up 12,000 coloured cards. Barely a minute into the hymn and the Kop began singing - slowly, and almost in hushed tones, "Shankly, Shankly". I swear it was one of the most moving things I've ever heard; the hairs stood up on the back of my neck. It was difficult to hold back the tears. The cards were then hurredly put aside and the massed flags and banners were unfurled. This was the loudest, most passionate YNWA that I've heard in years. It was twice as loud and twice as stirring as the CWC semi with PSG which many rate as The Kop's greatest hour since it was seated. From my position front and centre I could see the (truly) massive 'All Around The Ground The Kop Spirit Survives' banner being passed back up over hundreds of heads. It brought a lump to the throat. The anthem continued way past it's normal end point - it was if we didn't want it to end." - From Red All Over The Land.
As a 8/9 year old my dad would take me to work sometimes, and we would go in the Eaton Rd cafe for breakfast. Shanks, who had retired by then, would be sitting in there and would come right over and keep us there for ages, him talking, us listening. About 4 years later my dad jumped out his van in Old Swan. He said it was lashing down, and who ran up to him and made him take the umbrella cos of the rain but Bill."You have not been in the cafe for ages" he said, again my dad protested about the umbrella, but Shanks gestured for him to shut up and said "Son, you work too hard and I can go home now and dry off, you still have to work all afternoon. Besides, a few years ago you told me the only mistake I have ever made since coming to Liverpool was resigning. So you just resign yourself to the fact that I'm right again and get under the fucking thing." He then spent another 20 mins getting wet while talking football. My dad said he could see people looking at him thinking why he did not offer Shanks his brolley. At the end of the conversation my dad handed Bill his brolley back and an old lady, walking past at the time told my dad he should be ashamed of himself. Mr Shankly walked away laughing his head off.
I now live in Australia, and the footy team I play for has a trainer/coach who has been at the club for years. He is a mad red, 65 years old and everyone knows him by one name only. SHANKS. This is a legend that will never die. You have a great site. Keep up the good work.