Mentally, the 1920s will always be for me as they were in my early youth: fifty years ago. And Shanks’s arrival at Anfield, maybe twenty. And now there’s this sudden jarring sensation, a dull thump to the stomach, as the realization sets in of the passage of all those extra years. Even this glorious quotation is now as long ago from our perspective as Chapman joining Huddersfield was from Shankly when Shanks put Liverpool into their new strip:
“Our game against Anderlecht at Anfield was a night of milestones. We wore the all red strip for the first time. Christ, the players looked like giants. And we played like giants. We used to play in white shorts with red stripes, white stockings with red tops and white piping on the jerseys. But we switched to all red and it was fantastic. The introduction of the all scarlet strip had a huge psychological effect. I went home that night and I said to Ness: “You know something… tonight I went out onto Anfield and for the first time there was a glow like a fire was burning.”
That was November 1964. It’s still the greatest strip in the world, I think, and I’m not a Kopite. If only Liverpool could afford to ditch their sponsors and revert back to it in its real form…
Rob Marrs, a Liverpool fan, says it best:
He was known for sitting endlessly at his typewriter replying to fans who had taken the time to write to him. He was known to phone fans during the week to discuss the previous weekends game. The stories about him buying tickets for fans are endless. He understood that the fans are everything to a club and seemed to have a connection with them – indeed, the most famous picture of him has a story behind it (the one at the top of this post). After winning the league, during a lap of honour, a fan threw a scarf towards Shankly. It missed and a policeman threw it to one side. Shankly jumped to the scarf, put it on and said to the policeman ‘Don’t do that. That might be someone’s life’.