Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Red or Dead

Bill Shankly, manager of LFC from 1959 to 1974. Photograph: PA Archive

One of the best books I've read in 2014 is the novel by David Peace "Red or Dead" based on the life of the ingenious Bill Shankly who transformed Liverpool Football Club (LFC) from a second division mediocre team swimming in shallow waters to an pan-European Winner and a team to remember.
I was 8 or 9 years old and I do remember today watching back then in our black and white TV (late seventies) some matches with Kevin Dalglish and Ian Rush...

Now, I know how the Reds were built! Now, it is quite clear to see that big teams are built by faithful Supporters and Big Managers!!

Peace, in his novel, has managed something quite unique! He studied carefully all relevant literature with scientific rigour and managed to transform "boring" numbers to a vivid story!
"Red or Dead" is a somehow political title. Quite rightly though...because if you speak to any Liverpoodlian you can understand that it is Socialistic grounds at the birthplace of LFC and The Beatles!
The part of the book that breaks any norms is the last third, after Bill's resignation as LFC's manager and he struggled initially but eventually managed to Enjoy footie, playing with the kids just around the corner!
It is must-read book for all the friends who love football or...socialism! 

Yannis Zabetakis

p.s. and a photo from my 1st ever visit to Anfield, in front of Bill's statue, just outside The Kop.


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