Bob Paisley: Wikis


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Bob Paisley
Personal information
Full name Robert Paisley
Date of birth 23 January 1919(1919-01-23)
Place of birth    Hetton-le-Hole, Sunderland, England
Date of death    14 February 1996 (aged 77)
Playing position Half-Back
Youth career
Bishop Auckland
Senior career1
Years Club App (Gls)*
1939–1954 Liverpool 253 (10)   
Teams managed
1974–1983 Liverpool

1 Senior club appearances and goals
counted for the domestic league only.
* Appearances (Goals)

Robert "Bob" Paisley OBE (23 January 1919 — 14 February 1996) was an English football half back turned manager. His association with Liverpool was to span nearly half a century including his contribution to the club, first as a player, then as a physiotherapist and coach, and finally as manager.[1] In nine years as manager between 1974 and 1983, he took Liverpool to six League Titles,[2] three European Cups, one UEFA Cup, three League Cups, five Community Shields and a UEFA Super Cup. Paisley is the only manager to win three European Cups.




Playing career

Born in Hetton-le-Hole, County Durham (now Sunderland), England, Paisley joined Liverpool from non-League Bishop Auckland F.C. in May 1939.[3] However, as with so many of his generation, the outbreak of World War ll delayed the start of Paisley's career. He eventually made his long-overdue debut on the 5 January 1946 in Liverpool's first post-war competitive match, which was an FA Cup 3rd round, 1st leg match at Sealand Road, Chester City. Liverpool won the game 2-0. Paisley's first goal didn't come until the 1 May 1948 in a League game at Anfield, against Wolverhampton Wanderers. Paisley's 22nd-minute strike along with a Jack Balmer goal in the 80th were enough to help the Reds win 2-1.

In the first full season after the war, 1946-47, Bob helped Liverpool to their 1st league title in 24 years, making 34 appearances in the 42-match season. He remained a fixture in the side, appearing in 30+ matches in 1947/48 and 1948/49 and 28 in 1949/50. The 49/50 proved to a season of both highs and lows for Paisley, having scored the opening goal of a 2-0 FA Cup semi-final win over Merseyside rivals Everton only to be surprisingly dropped for the Final against Arsenal, the Reds' first ever appearance at Wembley. Paisley later said that the experience stood him in good stead when it came to telling players they were not going to play in big games, stating he could tell them he knew how they felt and they knew he genuinely did. Paisley became club captain the following season.

Coaching career

After retiring as a one-club man in 1954, he joined the back room staff as self-taught Physiotherapist and had a knack of being able to diagnose a player's injury just by looking at them. He later became a coach for the reserves. The arrival of Bill Shankly as manager in December 1959 transformed the fortunes of the club. Shankly utilised The Boot Room for a second purpose, a room for coaches meetings. Paisley was one of Shankly's founder members of the boot room staff along with Joe Fagan and Reuben Bennett. Under Shankly's management Liverpool won three league titles, two FA Cups and a UEFA Cup over the next fifteen years.

Managerial career

In July 1974 the man who rebuilt Liverpool, Bill Shankly, rocked the very foundations of the club when, out of the blue, he announced his retirement. Like thousands of Kopites, the directors of Liverpool pondered on who to appoint as the great man's successor. Ultimately they turned to the unassuming Paisley who, reluctantly, took on the mountainous task of following Shankly.[4]

His record would better that of Shankly: Paisley led the team for nine seasons, winning at least one trophy in eight of those. Disappointed by finishing second in his first season as manager, the team went one better the following year, winning the title. This was the start of Liverpool's dominance of the game in England - in Paisley's nine seasons in charge, Liverpool won six League titles and finished second twice, won 3 League Cups (the first time that Liverpool had won the trophy), 1 UEFA Cup, 1 European Super Cup, 5 Charity Shields and, most significantly, they won the club's first 3 European Cups, with his and Liverpool's dominance of the era in English and European football only challenged by Brian Clough's Nottingham Forest and Aston Villa under Tony Barton. He remains the only man in history to coach three European Cup-winning sides (1977, 1978 & 1981). His success was honoured with six Manager of the Year awards.[5] Only the FA Cup eluded Paisley, although Liverpool would be runners-up in 1977 and beaten semi-finalists in 1979 and 1980.


Paisley retired in 1983[6] after spending 44 unbroken years at the club.[7] He was replaced by Joe Fagan, another of the Boot Room old boys. He continued to serve Liverpool as a director, until he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease in 1992.[8] After his death in 1996,[8] he was honoured by the club with the opening of the Paisley Gates at one of the entrances to Anfield, complementing the existing Shankly Gates.[9]

Paisley was made an Inaugural Inductee of the English Football Hall of Fame in 2002 in recognition of his impact on the English game as a manager.[4]


  • "Mind you, I've been here during the bad times too - one year we came second."[10]
  • "The sort of lad I'm looking for here is a kid who'll try to nutmeg Kevin Keegan in a training match... but then step aside for him in the corridor."
  • "One of the things I keep reminding players is that when you're lost in a fog, you must stick together. Then you don't get lost. If there's a secret about Liverpool, that's it."
  • "This is the second time I've beaten the Germans here... the first time was in 1944. I drove into Rome on a tank when the city was liberated." - Paisley after Liverpool won the European Cup in Rome in 1977.[9]
  • "I tell you something, they shot the wrong Kennedy." - Commenting on Alan Kennedy's debut as a Liverpool player.[11]
  • "If you're in the penalty area and don't know what to do with the ball, put it in the net and we'll discuss the options later."[12]

Career statistics

Managerial Record

Team From To Games Won Lost Drawn Win %
Liverpool 26 August 1974 23 May 1983 490 275 91 124 56.12


England Liverpool (Player (1939-1954) and Manager (1974-1983))

Bob's career was curtailed by 6 years due to the World War II Bob was awarded a medal even though he didn't appear in the final.

Individual Honours

  • 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 Manager of the Year award
  • 2002 Inductee of the English Football Hall of Fame

See also


External links

Preceded by
Hennes Weisweiler
UEFA Cup Winning Coach
Succeeded by
Giovanni Trapattoni
Preceded by
Dettmar Cramer
European Cup Winning Coach
1976-77 & 1977-78
Succeeded by
Brian Clough
Preceded by
Brian Clough
European Cup Winning Coach
Succeeded by
Tony Barton


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Bob Paisley (1919–1996) was the most successful football manager in the history of Liverpool F.C. and English football in general.


  • "Mind you, I've been here during the bad times too - one year we came second."
    • Notes: On his time as a manager with Liverpool F.C.
  • "Bill was so strong it was unbelievable. You couldn't shake him off the ball. It didn't matter where he was playing, though I suppose his best position was outside-left. He could go round you, or past you, or even straight through you sometimes!"
    • Notes: On Billy Liddell
  • "Hey boss, do you think I look like a caveman?" - "I don't know about that, but you bloody play like one."
    • To Alan Kennedy, dressed like a caveman for a photoshoot. (His nickname was "Barney", after the Flintstone-character.)
  • "You may have found me mean and thirsty in my search for trophies, but the bad news is the man who is taking my place is hungrier than me. Fagan's the name and I don't think he'll need any help from the Artful Dodger!"
    • Notes: On his assistant, and successor as manager, Joe Fagan
  • "I just hoped that after the trials and tribulations of my early years in management, someone up high would smile on me and guide my hand. My plea was answered when we got Kenny Dalglish. What a player, what a great professional!"
  • "I'll tell you something, they shot the wrong bloody Kennedy!"
    • To Alan Kennedy after a bad first half on his debut as a Liverpool player.


  • "I owe Bob more than I owe anybody else in the game. There will never be another like him." ** Notes: Kenny Dalglish on Bob Paisley
  • "I go by records and Bob Paisley is the No 1 manager ever!"
    • Notes: Alan Hansen on Bob Paisley
  • "Liverpool wouldn't be the club it is today without Bill Shankly and Bob Paisley and the players who played there. When I first went there it was a typical Second Division ground and look at it now!"
    • Notes: Ian Callaghan on Bob Paisley
  • "If Shankly was the Anfield foreman, Paisley was the brickie, ready to build an empire with his own hands."
    • Notes: Tommy Smith on Bob Paisley
  • "I was Bob's first signing. He changed my life, as he did so many others. He gave us great memories and you can't put a price on that. He made me an adopted scouser."
    • Notes: Phil Neal on Bob Paisley
  • "Bob's knowledge of players and the game in general is unsurpassed. Football has known no equal in management or prize-winning, but his modesty and dignity were overwhelming as he led this club from one triumph to another. His name will always be synonymous with Liverpool."
    • Notes: Liverpool chairman David Moores on Bob Paisley

External links

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