The cast of the Paisley show during rehearsal. Left to right: Singer/guitarist Gerry Murphy, technical director Gill Beattie, writer and presenter John Keith.
Front row: Phil Neal, Ian Callaghan, Alan Kennedy. The show also features Jimmy Case.
The curtain will go up in Southport in the New Year on a special Bob Paisley tribute show, featuring four of his Anfield stars saluting the Liverpool manager who re-wrote the record books.
Ian Callaghan, Jimmy Case, Alan Kennedy and Phil Neal join the show’s writer, broadcaster and author John Keith, on stage at the Atkinson Theatre in the Bob Paisley Anniversary Show for one night only on Thursday, February 11 to mark the 20th anniversary of the legendary manager’s death.
“When you reflect on Bob’s record of winning 19 trophies in his 9 seasons as manager it seems barely believable, “ says Neal, who was his first signing as a £60,000 unknown defender from Fourth Division Northampton who went on to captain Liverpool, make 650 appearances, win a batch of honours and 50 England caps.
“When I arrived at Liverpool in October 1974 it was like stepping into another world when I looked round the dressing room and saw all the stars that were there. But I quickly learned that Bob and the coaching staff were so down to earth that reputations didn’t count for much.
“Through all the success that came our way the staff kept our feet on the ground and Bob, this amazing manager, was so humble despite the massive amount of silverware he brought to Anfield.
“That’s why all of us in the show feel privileged to have played for him and we’re all delighted to be appearing at the Atkinson to salute him. We’ve all got marvellous memories and stories to share with the audience.”
Southport-based John Keith, who wrote Paisley’s official biography, said: “When Bill Shankly retired in July 1974 almost everyone felt that to succeed him was mission impossible.
“Bob, the introvert to Bill’s extrovert, initially turned down the chance to take the job and the board, in chief executive Peter Robinson’s words, ‘had to go down almost on bended knee’ to persuade him to accept it.
“That’s why I described Bob as a reluctant genius, because genius is what he was with a fantastic ability to assess players and build teams. His management success ratio of more than two trophies a season even surpasses Sir Alex Ferguson’s average in English football.”
The Atkinson production also includes rolling images and audio clips of Paisley with singer and guitarist Gerry Murphy performing his own composition The Ballad Of Bob Paisley which will also be available on CD. And the audience can meet the cast in the theatre foyer after the show.
Tickets (£18 with £15 concessions) are now available in person at the Atkinson box office on Lord Street or by calling 01704 533333. Alternatively, they can book by going to: www.theatkinson.co.uk
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