On Thursday 15 May, a special item is going on display in the Museum of Liverpool highlighting the importance of one man and his success with Liverpool Football Club.
Bill Shankly was Liverpool Football Club’s inspirational manager from 1959 to 1974. He is widely regarded as the founding father of the modern-day Club, taking them from 2nd Division obscurity to an unprecedented period of success in the 1960s.
In 2009, Liverpool City Council made Bill Shankly an Honorary Citizen of the city, marking 50 years since he first arrived in the city and turned Liverpool Football Club's fortunes around. This is an extremely rare accolade. Had he been alive, it is likely he would have received the Freedom of the City, testament to his outstanding contribution to football and the city as a whole.
Yesterday, we were lucky enough to have Shankly's granddaughter Karen Gill visit the Museum to hand over the certificate to Curator Paul Gallagher. We're so grateful to the Shankly family for lending it to us, and are really looking forward to displaying it in the Atrium and sharing it with visitors from next Thursday, 15 May.
Shankly had a great fondness for the city of Liverpool and its people. His razor sharp wit and down-to-earth wisdom was a perfect match for Kopites. In retirement, Bill became a regular and popular visitor to Everton’s training ground, close to his home. We'd like to think that he would be very proud to have the certificate on display in the Museum of Liverpool, in order to share it with the city's people who held a special place in his heart.
The Museum of Liverpool’s Wondrous Place gallery celebrates the city’s proud sporting heritage, with a particular focus on the history of football of which Shankly played an important part. Even the famous coat he wore to Liverpool games is on display, amongst the scarves, boots and other footballing ephemera that has been chosen to portray the key moments of the city’s relationship with ‘the beautiful game’.