Bob Paisley (23rd January 1919 to 14th February 1996)

 

When I was a lad I used to get the annual football sticker book and try to fill in all the blanks with stickers (it was a bit of a craze at school.) Some of the manager didn’t last long but Bob Paisley – Liverpool’s manager – was there year after year. He looked like a friendly chubby uncle every kid should have. Here I am at this grave.

 

Liverpool was in his Bob’s blood as he was there as a footballer and manager for almost fifty years. He was a player, physiotherapist, coach and then manager. He was one of the greatest football managers of all time dominating domestic and European leagues for decades (winning Manager of the Year Award a record six times.) Even Alex Ferguson couldn’t beat this reluctant genius. Under his management Liverpool just about every cup going several times however the FA Cup escaped his clutches. Aged 66 he was interviewed by the Football Association of Ireland with a view to managing Ireland football team but Jack Charlton got the job.

 

He retired having been diagnosed with the early stages of Alzheimer's disease. This had been evident for a while as he often could not remember the route home after home matches. He died on St Valentine’s Day aged 77 and was honoured by the club with the opening of the Paisley Gates at one of the entrances to Anfield Football Stadium (complementing the existing Shankly Gates.) Though he was awarded the OBE for services to football he was an ordinary friendly bloke surrounded by a corona of glittering achievements. His wife Jessie died in 2012 aged 96 and is buried here with Bob.

 

He’s buried in the rear cemetery at St Peter’s Church, Woolton only a few meters away from the place where The Quarrymen (who became The Beatles) did their first performance at a summer fete.

 

The church is up on the left hand side…

 

 

 

 

Note the bushes. This is where The Quarrymen (who became The Beatles) did their first gig in 1957 at a church fete…

 

 

In the front cemetery is the Eleanor Rigby grave…

 

Across the road from the church is the hall where John and Paul met…

 

Looking down into Woolton village…