Last week I gave an insight into this new book which is about to hit the stores near you. Now exclusive to all Red Cauldron readers, is the extract from the book. And guess what, it's on the meeting with none other than Mr. Bill Shankly!
And here it is:
1971 MEETING THE MESSIAH
Bill Shankly's bare manhood stood three feet away from me. OK, stood is an exaggeration. We were getting on well, but not that well.
Slacks with a crease that could shave a werewolf's four-day shadow had been removed and placed on a dressing-room hook with his left hand. In his right was a pair of crumpled shorts so old you could smell the Boot Room on them. Then a question: "What school are you from again, son?"
"De La Salle."
And the shorts, which had made their way to the expectant toes of his left foot, were abruptly pulled away.
"A rugby school?"
Relief. Then animation.
"Thank Christ for that. I hate rugby. I remember turning up at a new Air Force post inWales and asking for a football. This officer says to me 'We don't play football here, only rugby.' So I says right, give me a rugby ball and I'll squeeze it intee a fitball."
He burst into a raucous laugh and began to squeeze an imaginary oval ball into around shape. "Christ, it's funny what things come back to you. I'd forgotten all about that."
Let's get this straight. I'm joshing away with Bill Shankly at Melwood training ground like a groom and best man before a stag night.
I've been in his company only five minutes and he's already told me a story nobody has ever heard before. Granted, in the league table of Shankly anecdotes it's six points behind Stenhousemuir. But it's mine to drop casually into conversations for eternity.
As this dawns on me a shiver jolts the blood.
There's a sigh I have to emit in short bursts for fear of being sucked inside out. Fear drifts from my brain, spreading down to feet doing epileptic taps. It's a feeling I would experience over the next 30 years of professional life before doing an interview.
But I would never feel the pure rush of pride I felt that June morning, knowing that whatever miserable hand life might deal, my self-esteem would never scrape a barrel's bottom. I would always be able to look a boss, a foe or a put-down merchant in the eye and tell them that Bill Shankly once shared a unique anecdote with me.
With his pride and joy dangling in my eye-line. At 17, life could only go downhill. PS: Huge. Obviously.
Want to read more? The appetite wetting extract here is just part of an even larger collection of stories from a Liverpool fanatic, Brian Reade. Want to find out more or already all set to get this book? Click HERE for more!