July 30, 1974
Former Liverpool wing half Les Shannon, now manager of the Greek club PAOK, is back at his Maghull home after spending a worried week in Greece, unable to get out and unable to telephone home.
And his first job was to see his old friend Bill Shankly at Anfield, talk about European football and get the great man’s advice about some mutual opponents.
Mr. Shannon interrupted his holiday to return to Salonica 10 days ago to arrange a player’s transfer. He found himself immersed in the Cyprus-Turkey-Greece crisis with the threat of all-out war a constant menace.
He said: “I came home last week-end exactly a week later than I had planned. I had completed the football business and then found I couldn’t move from Salonica or phone home with war preparations erupting everywhere.
“All my players were called up for military service. Even older men on the club council were pressed into war service, loading ammunition on to lorries. Tanks and guns were passing through the streets heading for the Turkish border.
“I was all right but I knew how worried my wife would be at home. I booked a call and it took two days to come through once the situation eased.
“Flights out started last Thursday but it wasn’t until the weekend that I was able to get on a plane. It was a very anxious few days.”
Once home, he has been able to turn his thoughts to football again. Like his old club Liverpool, Mr. Shannon’s boys at PAOK have won their national cup and have been drawn against Red Star Belgrade in the first round of the European Cup Winners Cup.
And with Liverpool having played the Yugoslav champions in the European Cup last season what better than an up-to-date run down on them from Bill Shankly?
They met at Anfield today for a long talk which could benefit both clubs. After all, they could meet in a later round of the competition.
Mr. Shannon returns to Greece next Monday to organise the pre-season training. Their first match is the European game at home on September 19 to Red Star – their domestic programme does not start until the following weekend.
(Source: Liverpool Echo: July 30, 1974; via http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) © 2018 Findmypast Newspaper Archive Limited