Thank you for all your help so far in saving Bill Shankly's former club, Workington Reds, in our centenary year.
We are pressing on with preparations for the season, training is going well and we are all remaining confident - but until fans are allowed back into the ground, we have no income - and that's why we urgently need to fundraise to ensure we can get through the season.
The great Bill Shankly famously said: "Some people believe football is a matter of life and death... I can assure you it is much, much more important than that.”
For Shankly’s former club, Workington AFC, YOUR support could make the difference between surviving our centenary year or not.
We're really hopeful that people who have idolised Shanks will get behind this urgent campaign.
Already, we have received videos of support from Liverpool legends John Aldridge, Alan Kennedy and Jimmy Case.
The Spirit of Shankly is very much alive at Borough Park, home of Workington 'Reds'. Shanks came back to open the lounge named after him in 1980 and said it was a greater honour than winning any of his trophies with Liverpool FC:
As you'll have seen in the video at the top, Shankly proudly said:
"Sometimes people forget what a man has done.
"But Workington didn't forget."
Bill Shankly's legacy lives on at Liverpool FC. Jurgen Klopp has just guided Liverpool to the Premier League title with seven games to spare. We now need the spirit of Shankly to survive at Workington Reds.
Workington should have been champions too!
Liverpool FC have of course just romped home with the Premier League title. Workington were also comfortably top of their league and on course for promotion.
But the Covid-19 pandemic robbed the club of the financial rewards of the Northern Premier Division. The campaign was declared null and void with Reds 10 points clear at the top.
With no fans coming through the gates, Reds face an uncertain future.
Supporters have rallied round superbly and raised enough money to get the new season up and running, whenever that may be.
But with no sign yet of fans returning to the stadium, much more money has to be raised to get The Reds through to the end of next season - which is our centenary year, and should be full of celebrations.
Coming off the pitch after another big home win in the Bet Victor Northern Premier League last season - a campaign cruelly ended early with Reds at the top.
If it's not possible for fans to come back for a while, and it's not possible for the Reds to survive to the end of the season, it would be a tragedy for supporters, players and staff, but also for the legacy Shankly created.
Shanks playing football with the local kids on a day off from management!
How Bill Shankly Made A Lasting Impact At Workington
Workington had only been a League side for two years and had struggled at the bottom for both seasons, when Shankly took over in January 1954.
Shankly had to do much of the admin work himself at the club, answering the phone and letters, and going to the bank each week to collect the payroll.
On the pitch, the 1953/54 season saw Shankly lift Workington to 20th position, and the team played an attractive brand of football. The next season saw them finish a respectable eighth in Third Division North, with average attendances rising from 6,000 to 9,000.
Shankly had changed Workington's fortunes and, as an ambitious manager, was ready to step up. He took charge of Liverpool in 1959, when they were in the Second Division, and built the team into a major force in England and Europe.
Workington has never forgotten Bill Shankly, and in his honour we hope that we will Never Walk Alone.
We hope dearly that all those who cherish the memory and legacy of the late, great Bill Shankly, can come together to support and save the Reds of West Cumbria.
The Future of Workington AFC
We believe the Workington Reds can have a bright future because we have great support from the younger generation, and excellent players and staff in our youth teams.
You'll have seen in the video two marvellous young Reds fans - supporters of both Liverpool and Workington. Their names are Oliver Garrett (aged 7) and Rebecca Wilson (10), and their passion for both clubs is something we don't want to lose.
Your support is greatly appreciated
Thank you so much, for whatever amount you can afford to donate towards our survival fund, either as a straight donation or taking advantage of one of our fantastic rewards.
Shanks also said: "Above all, I would like to be remembered as a man who was selfless, who strove and worried so that others could share the glory."
He certainly did that for Workington AFC. And for Liverpool.
Thank you for helping us Keep The Spirit of Shankly Alive at the Reds of West Cumbria.
Workington AFC. 'The Reds'
EXTRA TIME: The Tale Of Two Bills
After Bill Shankly’s reign at Borough Park, he forged a solid friendship with groundsman Billy Watson, that lasted into the Eighties.
Billy had been two years into his long association with the club as groundsman when Shanks arrived as manager in January 1954. They became firm friends and remained so, even when the Scot became manager of Liverpool.
Groundsman Billy was occasionally invited down to Anfield or Melwood to spend a day with the players as Shankly’s guest.
It was a special day, therefore, when Shanks returned to Borough Park in 1980, to open a lounge named in his honour, and the two were seen on the pitch together for the first time in 25 years.
Enjoy the full video interview with the Two Bills here...
"Workington didn't forget"
Please help us save Shankly's Reds of West Cumbria.
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