July 25, 1975
Bob Paisley: Why we lost out
Liverpool manager Bob Paisley last night paid a remarkable tribute to the influence 21-year-old defender Phil Thompson has on his team. While reviewing last season at the club’s annual meeting, he told the shareholders: “In trying to analyse why we did not win a trophy, I believe the main factor was the injury to Thompson early in the season. We were playing so well at the time and if he had not been injured I think we could have won the championship.”
In a typically honest and down-to-earth appraisal of events in his first 12 months as manager, Mr. Paisley went on: “The players, backroom staff and myself are bitterly disappointed that we did not win something. We thought we could have done so.
“It was a funny old season, a topsy turvy start and it carried right on in that fashion up to April. I’ve never known such an uneven season in my career.
“At the start, I thought we were playing as well if not better than at any time in my years at the club. Hence the increased disappointment at not winning an honour.
“Excuses don’t rate much but it must be remembered that we had the Kevin Keegan incident even before the season began, and then Thompson’s injury which put him out of the game because he needed a cartilage operation.
“Another factor was the exceptionally wet winter. The 1965 team, being heavier than the present team, would have walked off with the title. That is not to decry the present side, because the pitches prevented them showing consistent fluency in their game. The weather became the great leveller.”
He paid a handsome tribute to the newest member of his backroom staff – 26-years-old Roy Evans, who began the season in the Central League team, then gave up his playing career to become the Reserve team coach and guided them to their sixth championship success in the past seven years.
After thanking his colleagues who had, he said, leant over backwards to help him in his first season as manager, Mr. Paisley added: “We go into the new season confident and optimistic. We have a very experienced squad and a very good staff so that, given the run of the ball and with all things equal, we’ll be there with a shout in all the major competitions.
“We set about our task with the utmost confidence. Of course, we know the squad can be improved and I’m conscious that our supporters, the best in the country, deserve the best from us. We realise the high standards the club has enjoyed in the past and we’ll do our utmost to maintain them.”
Mr. Paisley’s report was heard in pin-drop silence by the appreciative shareholders and he was aclaimed warmly at the end.
The retiring directors, Messrs. Harold Cartwright, Cecil Hill and Douglas Corkish, were all re-elected. It marked the 21st year as a director for Mr. Cartwright, a former chairman and the 20th year for Mr. Hill.
The directors also re-elected Mr. John Smith as chairman and Mr. Jack Cross as vice-chairman.
And the meeting, conducted in the greatest good humour and comradeship befitting such a successful organisation, gave an ovation to president Tom Williams, now in his eighties, after Mr. Smith had paid tribute to his outstanding services to Liverpool and the game generally.
(Source: Liverpool Echo: July 26, 1975; via http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) © 2018 Findmypast Newspaper Archive Limited