The Boot Room


The Boot Room

The Liverpool Boot Room was a room at Anfield, home of Liverpool F.C., during the 1960s - 1980s where the coaching staff would sit, drink tea and discuss the team, tactics and ways of defeating the next opposing side.

It was actually a room that stored the squad's football boots that Bill Shankly also changed into a coaches tea room. It was an informal and a relaxing atmosphere that paid dividends for Shankly who was rebuilding Liverpool at the time. After Shankly left in 1974, the boot room tradition was carried on by the likes of Bob Paisley, Joe Fagan and Kenny Dalglish during the most illustrious era of the club's history.

On match days, the opposing managers and staff were invited in for a post-match drink. Any manager or coach who had visited the room would have stories to tell about the place, and all were in agreement that the Boot Room worked for the Anfield club. Fact|date=June 2007

The Boot Room was also used for the training of future Liverpool managers (graduates). It became 'the Liverpool way' to promote from within so that the wheels would carry on turning smoothly in the event of a manager resigning or, as it used to be at Anfield, retiring. Paisley, Fagan and Ronnie Moran, who stepped in as caretaker manager on several occasions, were all trained, without them realising it, in the Boot Room.

The room became effective as the likes of Paisley, Fagan and Reuben Bennett would discuss football as fans, implementing their ideas from their vastly differing backgrounds and experiences.

Paisley knew the Liverpool way of doing things, having started as a player and then going on to become a physiotherapist and then a coach, he also knew what the Liverpool faithful expected from their side. Fagan was quiet but very astute and a favourite of Shankly's, who tried in vain to sign him as a player whilst he was the manager of Grimsby Town. Bennett was a friend of Shankly's as well as a work colleague, he knew the man and his family and used to be a decent player in his own right.Fact|date=June 2007

Although managers Dalglish and Graeme Souness were not "educated" in the Boot Room, they realised the values that it brought and kept it during their tenures. It produced yet another manager in Roy Evans when Souness left the club. Evans took over at the helm after a long education that began under Shankly, and although the club didn't win half as much under Souness and Evans, they kept the Boot Room running producing coaches like Sammy Lee and aiding established coaches such as Doug Livermore.

With the advent of the "modern" game Gérard Houllier closed the door on the Boot Room for the final time but kept up the tradition of bringing in Liverpool people, by hiring former Red's skipper and coach Phil Thompson who also took over the running of the club when Houllier had to enter hospital to have an operation on his heart.

Current man in charge Rafael Benítez also knows about the value of the Boot Room, and although he hasn't established a room of his own, he has reintroduced a lot of the values and ideas, albeit with a more modern approach. The Boot Room legacy has been reserected again with the appointment of old boy and former coach Sammy Lee as assistant manager in May 2008, who played under Bob Paisley in the glory days of the 1980's.

Boot Room Honours

Bill Shankly

*Second Division Champions 1961-62
*First Division Champions 1963-64, 1965-66, 1972-73
*First Division runners-up 1968-69, 1973-74
*Charity Shield winners 1964, 1965
*Charity Shield runners-up 1971
*FA Cup winners 1965, 1966, 1974
*FA Cup runners-up 1971
*European Cup Winners Cup runners-up 1965/66
*UEFA Cup winners 1972/73

Bob Paisley

*Charity Shield 1974, 1976, 1977, 1980, 1982
*First Division champions 1975-76, 1976-77, 1978-79, 1979-1980, 1981-82, 1982-83
*First Division runners-up 1974-75, 1977-78
*FA Cup runners-up 1976-77
*League Cup winners 1980-81, 1981-82, 1982-83
*Football League Cup runners-up 1977-78
*Manager of the Year 1975-76, 1976-77, 1978-79, 1979-80, 1981-82, 1982-83
*European Cup winners 1976-77, 1977-78, 1980-81
*European Super Cup winners 1976-77, 1977-78
*UEFA Cup winners 1975-76
*World Club Championship runners-up 1981

Joe Fagan

*Charity Shield runners-up 1984
*First Division winners 1983-84
*First Division runners-up 1984-85
*League Cup winners 1983-84
*European Cup winners 1983-84
*European Cup runners-up 1984-85
*European Super Cup runners-up 1985
*World Club Championship runners-up 1984

Kenny Dalglish

*First Division winners 1985-86, 1987-88, 1989-90 (player/manager)
*First Division runners-up 1986-87, 1988-89
*FA Cup 1986, 1989 (player/manager)
*FA Cup runners-up 1988
*Manager of the Year 1986, 1988, 1990
*Charity Shield 1986, 1988, 1989, 1990
*Screen Sport Super Cup 1986 (player/manager)

Graeme Souness

*FA Cup winners 1992

Roy Evans

*League Cup winners 1995
*FA Cup runners-up 1996

External links

* [http://www.lfcbootroom.net/history.htm The LFC Boot Room web site - history pages ]
* [http://www.liverpoolfc.tv/lfc_story/honours/ Honours at Liverpoolfc.tv]
* [http://www.lfchistory.net/stats_articles_view.asp?article_Id=48 Honours at LFChistory.net]
* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/low/football/teams/l/liverpool/1418093.stm Legacy of the Boot room at BBC.co.uk]


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