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Red or Dead; Bill Shankly


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Just finished David Peace’s new book. Was book of the week on Radio 4 which prompted me to buy it, as I enjoyed the Damned United. Its good in many respects as one gets the feeling of Bill Shankly, but its very long and full of repetition (its the style of the book and his writing). Its very poignant about his latter years, as he was forgotten by Liverpool. Would recommend to those who have an interest in Shankly and that era, but would suggest that it can be hard going at times. 


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It's a very strange, repetitive style, as PB says, but one which is unexpectedly effective.


What I didn't get, though, was any feel for the wisecracking, aphoristic, Shankly who was celebrated by the press. I still find myself using some of his quotes, e.g.


"Some people believe football is a matter of life and death, I am very disappointed with that attitude. I can assure you it is much, much more important than that".


and (on a change to the offside rule)


"If a player's not interfering with play, why is he on the pitch?" [i think that is probably a misquote]




"If you are first you are first. If you are second, you are nothing."


Always had a lot of respect and affection for Shankly.

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Shankly was as charismatic, as Paisley was succesful. Every manager of that club since has been a pale shadow of either of them.


When Shankly took over at Liverpool they were a 2nd division club. He built the foundations for what has been the most successful period for any English club and there were some good sides around during that period. United had Best, Law and Charlton. The Don Revie Leeds side and City wernt bad too. Then Brian Clough did the miracle at Derby and Forest later on.

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