Though Liverpool supporters with their minds on the present are still abuzz over former QPR striker Peter Crouch’s wonder goal against Galatasary the other night (YouTube footage), the Fiver’s Paul Doyle and Barry Glendenning take a little stroll down Anfield’s memory lane.
Bill Shankly is the man who kick-started the “50 years of tradition you can’t buy” that Liverpool fans are always screeching about on radio phone-ins and, with today marking the 25th anniversary of his death, it’s no surprise to hear that there was a run on black ribbon across Merseyside today – or that opportunistic scallies are now making a killing in the lucrative bootleg black-armband market.
A commemorative ceremony is being staged at Anfield today for Shankly, who famously led Liverpool to three League titles, two FA Cups and the Uefa Cup. But the Fiver would like to do its own small bit to mark the anniversary of the passing of the man loved so much by Liverpool Football Club that they ejected him from the training ground shortly after his retirement and asked him not to come back, leaving him harbouring no end of resentment and bitterness.
Of course these weren’t the only traits the Scot shared with your average Scouser. Shankly was also renowned for his famous “wit” – having peddled a mediocre line in observations that were only marginally less bland than the kind spouted today by Alan Shearer. Most often misquoted is that one about football being more important than life or death, but the Fiver’s favourite came when Shanks was asked what he thought about the team on the other side of Stanley Park. “There are only two teams in Liverpool,” he harrumphed. “Liverpool and Liverpool reserves.” No doubt he changed his tune when Liverpool showed him the door, forcing him to live out his dotage helping Everton’s youth team.