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The 90s pop star and legion of football fans who made a pilgrimage to a tiny, abandoned Ayrshire mining village

Bill Shankly brought success to Liverpool FC. And to some fans he also represents an era of football which was less commercial and more rooted in community.

The Spirit of Shankly Group, including Peter Hooton of The Farm, travelled north to Glenbuck, the Ayrshire village where he was born and raised.

“This is not just about football, this is more than that”

Liverpool fans’ pilgrimage to Bill Shankly’s spiritual home of Glenbuck.

“In Shankly’s day, Robert Burns was a living tradition”

The influence of the 18th century Scottish poet, Robert Burns, on Bill Shankly.

Coal and football

No-one lives in Glenbuck anymore.

This former mining village, whose population never rose above 1700 people, produced more than 50 professional football players, including six Scotland internationals and four FA Cup winners.

One former resident of Glenbuck, Sam Purdie, believes that there’s a number of reasons for this.

As coal mines were such dangerous places to work, the incentive to make it as a footballer was high.

Success also begat success.

As everyone knew everyone else, would-be professionals could turn to the older generation for advice and support on how to break through in the game.

The life and times of Liverpool FC’s legendary Scottish manager

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