View from the Kop

He Made Us Proud To Wear The Red


I had rarely been exposed to seeing grown men cry at so young an age, so it was immediately apparent on January 29, 1981, that something was amiss. People were weeping, and, looking back, there was more than a hint of emotion etched on the face of the newsreader, in a way that I had seen only once previously, the day in December 1980 on which my grandmother told me of the death of a singer, of whom I had never heard.

Simply speaking, born in 1974, I was an infant of the 70s, but would be a child of the 80s. The names Bill Shankly and John Lennon had not registered on my radar, although they would later become huge influences as the child grew into a man.

I was introduced to Liverpool Football Club at a very young age, my mum having supported them as a Second Division club when she was growing up back in Guyana … I think we can say that she still hasn’t acquired the art of glory hunting! Furthermore, at the age of 4, I met Terry McDermott, amongst others, at a charity cricket match in which my old man was playing up in Wallasey.

I had my first Liverpool shirt some few weeks later, although was rather miffed at why the one on Match of the Day didn’t say Hitachi on it!! As a total aside, I still favour Hitachi electronic equipment to this day as a result.

I was born four weeks to the day after William Shankly took his final bow, presiding over the 1974 FA Cup Final victory against Newcastle. In my Liverpool, however, there was only one king, and his name was Kenneth Mathieson Dalglish. My memories are lucid of so many matches, even so far back, watching Paisley’s Liverpool side dominate English and European football.

It was impossible to understand, back then, the emotions around the loss of Shanks, but as the song goes, ‘I wish I knew then what I know now.’ It was only as a teenager on the Kop that I began to comprehend the legend of Bill Shankly as the older supporters would regale stories of the man. It was the greatest of all educations on the glorious history of Liverpool Football Club.

It was difficult to believe that he had inherited a club that was marooned in the lower echelons of the old Football League Division 2, and had left a legacy, in my opinion, unsurpassed in the annals of British Football. He took history, and not only penned new chapters, he wrote the book.

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  • lfc4life says:

    Y.N.W.A SHANKLY!I belive that “you are” still with the club,wherever you’re.

  • Zahid says:

    Great article im sure both Bill and Bob are looking down on us with digust at the yanks. If only both of them where still around our voice would be even louder and more people would stand up and listen. I only wish our glory days return under a new owner. Bill and Bob built our club with hard work, tough love and some talent, they built a legacy and set traditions for the future of our club, now look it. We are in shambles, the next month will have a mighty impact on the existence of the club lets hope it all ends well for the club and us the fans……YNWA

  • stah howard says:

    david moores should stay away from anfield, he allowed this mess to happen.

  • Thanks for the comments – I would be inclined to agree with them all, although I would suggest, Stah, that David Moores does still have support amongst the fan base. Personally, I hold him at this point with great contempt for putting the club into the hands of the current owners.

    Zahid, lfc4life – I think Shanks and Bob would be looking down not only with disgust, but with tears to see where we are now.

    Time will judge how we come together to overcome these mercenaries and rebuild towards our golden sky.

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