Bob Paisley – Liverpool Player 1939 – 1954
Bob Paisley’s links with Liverpool stretched back to his playing days when he signed for Liverpool on May 8th 1939 from Bishop Auckland.
Paisley signed for Liverpool for a £25 signing on fee, plus wages of £8 a week during the season and then £6 a week during the summer months. He was going to feature alongside the highly rated and established Billy Liddell. However during the 1939-40 season, he only made two appearances for the reserves, war had broken out, cutting short the start of his Liverpool career.
After a seven year wait, Paisley finally made his debut in the 1946-47 season on September 7th in front of a 54,000 Anfield faithful who had packed in to see their heroes. Chelsea were the visitors that September afternoon and the Anfield faithful were treated to a scintillating game of football. Liverpool ran eventual 7-4 winners over Chelsea with Paisley playing an important part alongside Billy Liddell and Willie Fagan.
Bob Paisley made 278 first team appearances during his career as a Liverpool player scoring 13 goals. He won the league in with Liverpool during the 1946-47 campaign and collected a runners-up medal for the 1950 FA Cup Final. Bob’s association with Liverpool would continue long after he hung up his boots. Impressed with his knowledge of the game, the Anfield board retained his services, as a member of the back room staff.
Bob Paisley – The Manager (1974 -1983)
After Shankly’s sudden resignation, Shankly recommended to the Liverpool board that Bob Paisley should succeed him, continuing the Boot Room tradition. The other members of The Boot Room; Joe Fagan, Roy Evans, Ronnie Moran, Tom Saunders and Reuben Bennett would continue to support Bob Paisley and Liverpool in their quest more success.
Bob Paisley had been Shankly’s assistant manager from 1971, and was an intergral part of Shankly’s success in the League, FA Cup and UEFA cup. Paisley seemed best placed to take Liverpool to the next level and it seemed the natural step to appoint Bob Paisley. A decision that, would see a new dawn of unrivalled success and glory. Bob Paisley was about to embark on an unimaginable journey that would not only capture the hearts and minds of Liverpool fans throughout England but also, future generations of Liverpool FC supporters.
During his first full season as Liverpool manager, Bob Paisley had taken Liverpool to runners-up in the League missing out to Derby County by two points. Although disappointed to miss out on a League time, the events of July 1974 and Shankly’s resignation put things into perspective. Here was a team who at the start of the season had lost their inspirational and much respected manager Bill Shankly. Not knowing how the season could unfold, finishing runners-up put matters into context.
With Bob Paisley at the helm and confidence growing around Anfield, things could only get better.
The Paisley Years
3 European Cups – 6 League Titles – 1 UEFA Cup – 3 League Cups – 1 Super Cup – 5 Charity Shield
Things did get better, under Bob Paisley and in his second full season as manager, Liverpool went on to complete another double. Liverpool were crowned Champions of England adding another League title to the trophy cabinet, their 9th League title. This would be followed by a victory in the UEFA Cup final against Club Brugge. The Uefa Cup final was a two legged affair and Liverpool won 4-3 on aggregate. Bob Paisley and the Redmen were about to begin their march across Europe and England.
Over the next 7 years Liverpool were about to become a dominant force that not only drove fear into oppositions but saw their sharp rise in world football.
European Cup Quarter Final 1977 – Liverpool V St.Etienne.
It was under Bob Paisley that Liverpool were to enjoy their first European Cup success. On route to the final in Rome, Liverpool were involved some games that remain part of the Liverpool fabric and those special European nights at Anfield. One particular game, synoymous with ‘Super sub’ David Fairclough – The quarter-final encounter with St.Ettiene. A game that former Liverpool Legend David Johnson ranked as one of his favourite games as a Liverpool fan. Liverpool were trailing from the first leg but the return leg at Anfield saw Liverpool hit the ground running. Kevin Keegan scored Liverpool’s first with 2 minutes. St.Ettiene were to equalize with a ferocious 30 yard shot through Bathenay. Liverpool would now need 2 goals to progress to the semi-final.
Ray Kennedy was at hand and scored just before the hour. With the clock ticking away and time running out, a substitution was made, and on came David Fairclough. With eight minutes remaining David Fairclough shrugged off two defenders and with the goalkeeper advancing, calmly slotting the winner, sending The Kop into euphoria. That night, that game, that winning goal would forever be talked about and took its place in Anfield folklore.
Three European Cup Triumphs
Bob Paisley guided Liverpool to 3 European Cup wins. The first in the clubs history took place in 1977 and the venue was Rome. Liverpool’s opposition were Borussia Moenchengladbach, with goals from Terry McDermott, Tommy Smith and Phil Neal (pen) Liverpool had secured their first European Cup. Bob Paisley was not finished, leading the Redmen to 2 further triumphs at Wembley 1977 and Paris 1981. Liverpool were a force to be reckoned with and Liverpool were one of the most feared teams in Europe.
1977 European Cup Final
1978 European Cup Final
1981 European Cup Final
Six League Titles
Alongside the European Cup successes, Bob Paisley added 6 league titles to the cabinet trophy at Anfield, confirming their domination in English football. Paisley had taken the reigns over from Bill Shankly and turned Liverpool into world beaters. From 2nd division champions, Liverpool had conquered England and Europe in the space of 20 years.
Bob Paisley Retires
Bob Paisley retired in 1983. He served the club for over 44 years. As a manager he delivered 19 trophies but was asked to continue as a Director at the club.
Bob Paisley eventually resigned due to ill health. The city of Liverpool acknowledged what Bob had done at the club and made him a Freeman. His achievements were also recognized by the league and on six occasions Bob was named Manager of the Season. Bob’s Paisley’s achievements were also recognised by Buckingham Palace and in 1977 Bob received an O.B.E. for his services to football in 1977. A lot has been said in recent times as to whether an O.B.E. fairly reflects the magnitude of Bob Paisley’s success. If managers are awarded Knighthoods for winning one European Cup, how Bob did not receive such an accolade for winning three European remains a mystery.
Honours as a player:
First Division Champions 1946–47
FA Cup Runners-up: 1950
Honours as a manager:
Div 1 Champions: 1975-76, 1976-77, 1978-79, 1979-80, 1981-82, 1982-83
League Cup Winners: 1981, 82, 83
European Cup Winners: 1977, 1978, 1981
UEFA Cup Winners :1976
European Super Cup Winners: 1977
Charity Shield Winner 1974, 1976, 1979, 1980, 1982 Shared: 1977
Manager of the Year award: 1975-76
Manager of the Year award: 1976-77
Manager of the Year award:1978-79
Manager of the Year award:1979-80
Manager of the Year award: 1981-82
Manager of the Year award: 1982-83
Bob Paisley Signings:
Sammy Lee and David Fairclough were introduced into First team under Paisley