Being the centennial of the birth of the great man I was determined to make my pilgrimage to the place where he was born, Glenbuck Scotland.
It was early April and we couldn’t have asked for nicer weather, we were heading south on the M74. I put my faith and trust in the old GPS and yes it led me straight to where the Great Bill Shankly was born.
As we got off the M74 we took the A70, it is a nice scenic ride. We past by the towns of Douglas and then Glespin and after a few miles came to Glenbuck Loch. I knew we were close however the GPS pointed me up a narrow road. “This can’t be it” I told myself, “How can the big buses full of supporters make it up here?”. Many Liverpool fans have for years stopped here everytime they had to travel up North to play Scottish clubs.
So it was round the corner, and then another and there it was, the Shankly memorial.
Glenbuck today is nothing compared to what it was when Shankly was born. This was a bustling mining town however the last mines closed down in the early thirties, as people moved away the remaining homes were thorn down so there is no physical footprint of what it looked like when Shanks was growing up.
You have to close your eyes and imagine the miners walking around covered in soot, the children playing football and I would imagine the air wasn’t as crisp and fresh as it is nowadays.
However over 50 professional football players came from this little town which is pretty amazing as the population during it’s heyday was only 2,000. So what was it that such talent came from this small mining town? It sure gives inspiration for children living in remote villages around the world. You don’t need to grow up next to a football cathedral to reach greatness.
Bill Shankly is proof of that, Thank You Glenbuck for sharing your native son with us.
Glenbuck is a must visit for any Liverpool fan, put it on your bucket list and next time you have the opportunity take a few minutes and pay tribute to the great man.