25 Bill Shankly Quotes From The Liverpool Legend

Ignite your champion pedigree with our Bill Shankly quotes. 

Shankly’s transformation from professional player to manager is recognized as one of the most glorious runs in football history.

Learn more with our Bill Shankly quotes below. 

Who was Bill Shankly?

William Shankly was a Scottish footballer and manager.

He is celebrated in football history for his time as manager of Liverpool.

He is a legendary coach who transformed a team and took them from the bottom of their division to the top as champions. 

Check out these Bill Shankly facts below: 

  • All five of Bill’s siblings were professional football players. 
  • Shankly was also a skilled boxer, winning tournaments and trophies. 
  • In 2002, Shankly was inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame.

How did Shankly change the game?

As manager of Liverpool, Shankly changed the team’s identity and, eventually, football culture in England. 

He began coaching Liverpool in 1959, and his hunger for excellence went beyond the game. 

He famously stripped the team and brought in players he felt had championship potential. 

Next, he insisted that the owners invest in their facility. 

Shankly had the Anfielf pitch renewed and the grass curated. 

Next, he brought in the community. 

Shankly brilliantly created a culture where the players and the fans had an identity and worked together to impose their will on the opponents psychologically. 

Did Bill Shankly fight in World War II?

Yes, he did. 

In fact, Shankly spent his prime time years as a player serving in the Royal Air Force. 

He was twenty-six years old when the war started and served for seven years. 

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Impressively, he still managed to play the game he loved and even did some wartime league exhibition games. 

Why did reporters respect Shankly so much?

Bill Shankly was as intense off the field as he was on the pitch. 

Reporters who caught Bill on a bad day or asked a question he felt was stupid were in for a verbal thrashing.
Bill infamously gave media members the third degree during their exchanges. 

He once asked a reporter, “Why don’t you go jump in a lake?” 

To learn more, check out our Bill Shankly quotes below. 

Short Bill Shankly quotes from the master of one-liners

Shankly was sharp on the field, and his words cut just as deep. 

1. “You, son, could start a riot in a graveyard.” — Bill Shankly

2. “Liverpool was made for me, and I was made for Liverpool.” — Bill Shankly

3. “If you are first, you are first. If you are second, you are nothing.” — Bill Shankly

4. “Just go out and drop a few hand grenades all over the place, son!” — Bill Shankly

5. “The trouble with referees is that they know the rules, but they don’t know the game.” — Bill Shankly

Famous Bill Shankly words about how to treat competition

Shankly was a competitive guy who always took advantage of an opportunity to address his competitors. 

6. “It’s great grass at Anfield, professional grass!” — Bill Shankly

7. “If Everton were playing at the bottom of the garden, I’d pull the curtains.” — Bill Shankly

8. “We absolutely annihilated England. It was a massacre. We beat them 5-4.” — Bill Shankly 

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9. “There’s Man Utd and Man City at the bottom of Division One, and by God, they’ll take some shifting.” — Bill Shankly

10. “I always look in the Sunday paper to see where Everton are in the league; starting, of course, from the bottom up.” — Bill Shankly 

The best Bill Shankly quotes about football

Shankly lived, breathed, and loved football

11. “Ay, here we are with problems at the top of the league.” — Bill Shankly

12. “Son, you“ll do well here as long as you remember two things. Don’t over-eat and don’t lose your accent.” — Bill Shankly

13. “If you’re not sure what to do with the ball, just pop it in the net, and we’ll discuss your options afterwards.” — Bill Shankly

14. “At a football club, there“s a holy trinity – the players, the manager, and the supporters. Directors don’t come into it. They are only there to sign the checks.” — Bill Shankly 

15. “It’s a ninety-minute game for sure. In fact, I used to train for a one hundred and ninety-minute game so that when the whistle blew at the end of the match, I could have played another ninety minutes.” — Bill Shankly

Quotes from Bill Shankly about rooting for your team and hometown pride

16. “We cannae play these defensive continental sides!” — Bill Shankly

17. “Chairman Mao has never seen a greater show of red strength.” — Bill Shankly

18. “They’re nothing but rubbish. Three breakaways, that’s all they got.” — Bill Shankly

19. “Take that poof bandage off, and what do you mean YOUR knee? It’s LIVERPOOL’S knee!” — Bill Shankly

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20. “Sickness would not have kept me away from this one. If I’d been dead, I would have had them bring the casket to the ground, prop it up in the stands, and cut a hole in the lid.” — Bill Shankly

The top Bill Shankly quotes to reporters and the media

Media members carefully addressed Bill because he was unafraid to mix it up. 

21. “Why don’t you go and jump in the lake?” — Bill Shankly

22. “Laddie, I never drop players. I only make changes.” — Bill Shankly

23. “You’re putting them off! You’re doing more damage than the opposition.” — Bill Shankly 

24. ”Jesus Christ, son, can ye no talk into that microphone when the players are in the penalty box?” — Bill Shankly 

25. “Christ, son, you’ve been here four years, hardly said a word, and when you do, it’s a bloody lie!” — Bill Shankly 

There will never be another Bill Shankly

Shankly left a legacy that remains celebrated. 

Some argue that he changed football culture worldwide during his run with Liverpool. 

What are your favorite Bill Shankly quotes?Be sure to let us know in the comments section below. 

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