July 12, 1974
Bill Shankly has quit as manager of Liverpool. And with a typical Shankly flourish, he followed his shock announcement yesterday by signing Arsenal striker Ray Kennedy for £200,000.
It is a club record fee for the man whose goal ended Liverpool’s dream of a League and Cup double last April.
Shankly, the 60-year-old Scot who is the idol of Liverpool’s fans, said: “It’s time I had a rest. I’ve been thinking it over for a year.
“The decision was the most difficult in the world. When I went to see the chairman, I felt as if I was going to the electric chair.”
“My wife Nessie and I want to charge our batteries. We want to live a bit longer.
“I’m not saying that staying in the game would kill me. But football management is like a minefield. I thank God for steering me through.
“If the new man wants help, I’ll stay on for a while. If not, I’ll go. It will be a clean break.
“When I’ve had a rest, there are plenty of things I can do in the game. People say I’ll be bored without football. I’ll wait and see.”
Shankly and Don Revie, who quit League champions Leeds last week to take over the England manager’s job have been the most successful club managers in the past decade.
A former Preston and Scotland wing half, Shankly managed Carlisle, Grimsby, Workington and Huddersfield before joining Liverpool in 1959.
In his third season they won the Second Division title. Since then they have won the First Division three times, the FA Cup twice and the UEFA Cup, have played in the Cup Winners Cup Final and the European Cup semi-final, have been runners up several times in domestic competitions, and have been in Europe every year since 1964.
The Kop fans: “The greatest in the world,” as Shanks calls them – have poured in to watch, with the result that more than £1½ million has been spent on ground improvements.
And Shankly’s gift for wise buying has been demonstrated by the rise of bargain captures like Emlyn Hughes, Kevin Keegan, Alec Lindsay and Ray Clemence to England rank.
Kennedy, 24, his farewell signing, arrived back from holiday in Crete this week and walked straight into the “unbelievable” move.
(Source: Daily Mirror: July 13, 1974)