Karen Gill and Alexander West (photo: David Munn)

An on-stage tribute was made to the legendary former Liverpool Football Club manager Bill Shankly to commemorate the 50th anniversary of his arrival to Anfield.

Accepting his newly awarded title of honorary citizen at the city’s BT Convention Centre was his grand-daughter Karen Gill.

Speaking on her grandfather’s behalf, she said: “It’s a great honour to except this title and I wish my granddad could be here to accept it himself. He would have loved and been thrilled about it. The family would like to give the award to the Liverpool Museum because we believe it was the people of Liverpool which made him the great man we all love and miss. Thank you from all the Shankly family.”

The presentation was held prior to Andrew Sherlock’s combined live theatre and video production, The Shankly Show.

Sherlock, who has written and directed the play, approached Cllr Mike Storey, Lord Mayor of Liverpool, with the idea. He added: “It has always rankled with Liverpool fans that we should have had at least two footballing knights, Sir Bill Shankly and Sir Bob Paisley, so on this special anniversary I asked the Lord Mayor if we could honour our own with a special award for Shankly – not just for what he did for LFC but for all football fans and for the life, passion and energy he brought to the city he made his home.”

The Shankly Show was commissioned last year as part of Liverpool’s European Capital of Culture celebrations.

Scottish actor Alexander West has revised the role of Shankly in the one-man show for two nights, performing in front of the great man’s family members and former Liverpool footballers, as well as the people of the city.

Ayrshire-born Bill Shankly was Liverpool manager from 1959 until 1974. He died seven years later.

To read my review of the production, visit Whatsonstage.com here

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