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6 years under Bill Shankly – My Liverpool Life with George Scott & Gordon Wallace

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For the latest edition of My Liverpool Life, we caught up with Gordon Wallace and George Scott who were players under Bill Shankly in the early 1960s.

Wallace played 22 times for Liverpool, scoring six goals in his time at the club. Meanwhile, Scott didn’t make a senior appearance but played back-up for several seasons in an era without substitutes.

They have some fascinating stories to tell about their time playing for the Reds, so we asked them about their lives as Liverpool players and supporters.

I started supported Liverpool because…

SCOTT: I came to Anfield as a young boy at 15 and was immediately transfixed under the spell of Bill Shankly, and I’ve been transfixed ever since.

WALLACE: Likewise, prior to coming to Liverpool, Liverpool was never in my imagination to come here. And ever since I retired, I carried on supporting them. I still go to the Games regularly.

 

How did it feel to sign your first contract with the Reds?

Liverpool manager Bill Shankly pictured on his side's homecoming to the city of Liverpool following their FA Cup Final defeat by Arsenal at Wembley. Thousands of people lined the streets to welcome their heroes back from London. 9th May 1971. (Trinity Mirror / Mirrorpix / Alamy Stock Photo)

WALLACE: Absolutely over the moon because at the end of the season you’re wondering. You don’t get told, you see, until the end of the season whether you’ll be kept on.

SCOTT: I suppose in your heart you knew in a way you probably were going to be signed because of your record in the C team, B team, A team, but you could never depend on it. You did see people coming out of his Shankly’s office crying.

When you got signed on that two year contract, you were then on your way as a pro.

 

What does Liverpool FC mean to you?

SCOTT: Liverpool has been a huge part of my life and my family’s life. Next to my family, I think it’s probably been the biggest common denominator of my life, because we’ve watched Liverpool for 64 years.

We’ve seen great days, we’ve seen great players, we’ve seen great occasions – more so than any other fan anywhere in the country I would imagine.

I can’t think of many fans who have seen a club go through the things we’ve seen this club go through, tragedy and glory.

WALLACE: Likewise, they gave me my first job in life so it’s part of me, something which I’ll never forget and I was very fortunate to have a little bit of success with them.

It means a lot.

 

If you could relive a game from the stands, which would it be?

WALLACE: It was Barcelona. 3-0 down, I’ve never seen atmosphere like that. We were there and it was just incredible.

The atmosphere at half time, when you go down to have a cup of tea or something, the singing. I tell you what, people were in their hundreds jumping up and down. We still hadn’t scored four goals then but you could see it was just fantastic.

SCOTT: I find that really hard to answer really, because there’s been so many, there’s three or four.

Istanbul, I was there with my son – Istanbul was unbelievable; Saint Etienne in 1977 when David Fairclough scored that goal; Inter Milan, semi-final of the European Cup 1965; the FA Cup final in 1965, the first time we won the cup.

But I’d probably go along with Gordon, that was the most amazing result to be 3-0 down against the great Barcelona.

You lose one goal you’re out. To see Robbo pushing Messi, that picture of Messi in the middle of the pitch on his own, I’d go along with that.

 

Which has been your favourite season with Liverpool?

Liverpool celebrate wrapping up the League Championship with a 5-0 win over Arsenal: (back row, l-r) Alf Arrowsmith, Ronnie Moran, Gerry Byrne, Ian Callaghan; (front row, l-r) Roger Hunt, Gordon Milne, Ian St John, Tommy Lawrence, Peter Thompson, Wilf Stevenson, Ron Yeats. 1964. (TopFoto/PA Images)

SCOTT: 1964 League Championship, the first time they won the Premier League under Shankly. We were there.

WALLACE: I was fortunate, I played in just one Game that season when they won the championship and it was near the end. I remember it was at Burnley and we won 3-0, and I played instead of Sir Roger Hunt – he had a bit of a knock.

The scenes outside, I don’t know how many thousands of Liverpool fans were locked out!

SCOTT: That season I was selected as 12th man, it was almost bag carrier. If somebody got injured, you were in.

 

Which 3 people from Liverpool’s history would you invite to a dinner party?

SCOTT: I would say definitely Kenny Dalglish.

WALLACE: I’d have Bill Shankly and Kenny Dalglish because I thought Kenny was just something so special. Some of the things he done on a Football pitch was just, you know.

Probably one of the best players, we’ve had so many. Certainly those two.

SCOTT: I would say Dalglish and Shankly definitely and if you’re bringing Shankly, I’ll put Klopp.

I’ve never met Jurgen Klopp, I’d love to have met him. It still remains an ambition to just say hello to him and thank him for what he’s done. He’s a big admirer of Shankly, he’s got a picture of him in his office.

WALLACE: Probably Klopp. Klopp, Shankly and Dalglish.

 


* Thanks to Gordon Wallace and George Scott for sharing their ‘Liverpool Lives’, you can hear more from them here.

They were speaking at the media day for Peter Kenny Jones’ book about Tommy Lawrence, Sweeper Keeper.

You can buy George Scott’s book, The Lost Shankly Boy, here

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