Reds to honour Shankly landmark

Monday marks the date when the legendary Scot officially began work

as Reds boss. And with the match against the Latics the nearest

Anfield fixture to the 50th anniversary of Shankly’s first game in

charge – a 4-0 home defeat by Cardiff on December 19 1959 – the

club will mark the occasion. It is expected that members of

Shankly’s family and former players will be invited to the game,

with a host of famous names expected to be involved in a ceremony

on the pitch. Current manager Rafael Benitez and a host of

ex-players have spoken of their admiration for Shankly, who signed

the likes of Ian St John, Ron Yeats, Ray Clemence, John Toshack and

Kevin Keegan. “Everybody knows he is one of the best managers ever

because he changed the club,” said Benitez. “Others may have won

more trophies, but Shankly was the man who changed everything.”

Keegan, who saw his former manager as something of a father figure,

said: “Apart from my parents, Bill was the most important person in

my life. “He brought me to the club, he believed in me and he

inspired me. My first meeting with him changed my life forever.” On

Thursday Shankly will be honoured by the City of Liverpool when he

is made an Honorary Citizen in recognition of his outstanding

contribution not just to football but to the whole community.