By David Peace.
One hundred years ago this September, in a small Scottish mining village in East Ayrshire, Bill Shankly was born.
In 1959, Bill Shankly became manager of Liverpool Football Club. His passion and commitment was almost mythical, and he transformed the team, taking them from the second division to become champions of England and win their first ever European trophy. But then, at the height of his success, he resigned. It was a move that sent shockwaves across football, and proved an intense personal challenge for Shankly himself.
David Peace, acclaimed author of the 'Red Riding' series, 'GB84' and 'The Damned United', now turns his attentions to Bill Shankly. David Peace's astonishing book 'Red or Dead' pulls Bill Shankly out of the football world and into the mainstream and tells us the story of the man, not just the manager. Peace describes Shankly as "not just a great football manager. Bill Shankly was one of the greatest men who ever lived."
One of five brothers, Shankly's passion was football. It was his job and it was his life, both as a player and then as a manager. Along with Matt Busby and Jock Stein he formed a trio of working class Scottish men who rose to the top of their game and were immortalised as heroes, to be followed by their natural successor Alex Ferguson.
Shankly's background fuelled his socialism, his view of the world and his view of football: "The socialism I believe in is everyone working for each other, everyone having a share of the rewards. It's the way I see football, the way I see life"
Read by Gary Lewis
Abridged by Robin Brooks
Producer: Allegra McIlroy.