The Scottish Connection

Tommy Docherty -- Willie Cunningham -- Bobby Beattie -- Bill Shankly

Bill Shankly

Player Info

Position: Right-Half
Born: 2nd September 1913
Died: 29th September 1981
Other clubs: Glenbuck Cherrypickers, Cronberry, Carlisle Utd
Honours: Division Two Runners-Up (1934), FA Cup Finalist (1937), FA Cup Winners (1938), War Cup Winners (1941)

Bill Shankly was born in Glenbuck on 2nd September 1913.

After playing for two of his local clubs and then Carlisle, he signed for North End in July 1933 for a fee of just £500. He joined a growing number of his fellow countrymen at the club.

Bill didn't actually make his full league debut until December 9th in the game against Hull City at Deepdale, a game which North End won 5-0. From then on, Shankly was an ever present for the rest of the season and never looked back.

His first season culminated in North End finishing 2nd in Division Two and clinching promotion to Division One. Not a bad start to say the least!

Bill was more or less an ever present throughout his time at North End. He was the rock in defence as North End re-established themselves back in Division One.

His greatest honour as a North End player came in 1938. North End had finished 3rd in the league behind Arsenal & Wolves, but managed to win the FA Cup after a 1-0 win over Huddersfield. Bill had an outstanding record in the FA Cup as far as appearances were concerned - he played in a record 43 successive FA Cup ties for North End.

In 1939 the league was postponed due to the outbreak of war. Various different tournaments were held during the war. In 1941 North End beat Arsenal 2-1 to win the War Cup and this was Bill's 3rd honour.

In 1939 /40 Bill played for Scotland against England - just one of 5 caps he won whilst with North End.

The league resumed in 1946 a year after the war had ended. Again, Shankly was still a regular in the side but by th 1948/49 season he had lost his place in the side and made only a handful of appearances. Unfortunately his playing career ended on a sour note with North End finishing 21st in the league and relegated.

Bill Shankly made 296 league appearances for North End and later became coach for the reserve team before managing Carlisle, Grimsby Town, Workington Town, Huddersfield and his famous reign at Liverpool.

Bill Shankly well and truly became a household name and was respected worldwide. But often, his playing career at North End gets overlooked very unfairly - people see him as a Liverpool legend because of all he did for them as a manager and rightly so. But he is also a North End legend because of all he did for us as a player. Over 300 appearances for North End (including FA Cup) says it all.

Bill sadly died on 29th September 1981 at the age of 68. He may be gone, but he will never be forgotten at ALL the clubs he represented as wEll as the football world as a whole.

In 1998 it was decided to name the new stand at Deepdale after him, 'The Bill Shankly Kop'. This is a fitting tribute to a great man. The stand was opened with a pre-season tournament featuring North End, Tranmere Rovers, Man City and Barnsley.