Liverpool

Damned United author plans 'saint' Shankly book

Brian Clough (left) and Bill Shankly
Managers Brian Clough (left) and Bill Shankly lead out their teams for a match at Wembley Stadium

The author of The Damned United is writing a new footballing novel about former Liverpool manager Bill Shankly.

David Peace, whose novel about Brian Clough's 44-day stint managing Leeds United was made into an acclaimed film, said Shankly was "a saint".

Mr Peace added: "[He] was one of the greatest men who ever lived. Now, more than ever, it's time everybody knew about Bill Shankly."

The novel, entitled Red Or Dead, is due to be published in August.

His ninth novel charts Shankly's rise from coal miner in his native Scotland to "footballing legend" before his death in 1981.

Lived 'for others'

Mr Peace has also written about police corruption in the Red Riding series, which was adapted for TV, and GB84 about fictional covert government workings during the miner's strike.

He said: "Now I've had enough of the bad men and the demons.

"Now I want to write about a good man. And a saint. A Red Saint.

"Bill Shankly was not just a great football manager, Bill Shankly was one of the greatest men who ever lived.

"And the supporters of Liverpool Football Club, and the people of Liverpool the city, know that and remember him.

"But many people outside of football, outside of Liverpool, do not know or do not remember him.

"And now, more than ever, it's time everybody knew about Bill Shankly - about what he achieved, about what he believed and how he led his life.

"Not for himself, for other people."

Shankly is widely regarded as having laid the blueprint for decades of success at Anfield, after leading the club to league and cup success before his shock retirement in 1974.

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