Bob Paisley

He was there during the bad times as well. One year they came second

Player Biography
Full name: Robert Paisley
Date of birth: January 23, 1919
Date of death: February 14, 1996
Clubs played for: Liverpool
Clubs managed: Liverpool
Huddersfield v Liverpool, 1950
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Huddersfield v Liverpool, 1950 Bob Paisley, 1950 Bob Paisley, 1950 Bob Paisley in heading practice, 1956 Bob Paisley carries off Emlyn Hughes, 1968 Bill Shankly, Bob Paisley and players in the Liverpool treatment room, 1966 Bob Paisley treats Tommy Smith, 1969 Bob Paisley and Emlyn Hughes celebrate the League title, 1977 Bob Paisley, 1982 Bob Paisley, 1982 League Cup final, 1983 Phil Thompson with Bobby Robson and Bob Paisley at the Liverpool defender's testimonial, 1983 Sir Matt Busby and Bob Paisley, 1983
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Club Career

The very definition of a one club man, Bob Paisley joined Liverpool in 1939 from non-league outfit Bishop Auckland, but the outbreak of World War II meant that he didn't make his debut until six years later.

Playing at half-back in the first full season after the war, Paisley helped Liverpool to their first league title in 24 years, playing in all but eight of that campaign's matches. He eventually became club captain for the 1950-51 season and retired three seasons later to join Anfield's backroom staff.

Club Stats

Years Clubs App Goals
1939-54 Liverpool 253 10

Managerial Career

The trophies and accolades tell their own story of Paisley's reign at Anfield. After stepping up from the role of Bill Shankly's right-hand man, he led the team for nine seasons, winning at least one trophy in eight of those. Between 1976 and 1983, he won the Manager of the Year award six times.

Inspiring fierce loyalty and affection in his players, he was a sound tactician with a fantastic eye for potential recruits. Although initially a reluctant leader, he retired in 1983 after 44 uninterrupted years at the club, hailed as Anfield's greatest-ever manager.

Key Games

FC Bruges 1-1 Liverpool (UEFA Cup final, second leg, May 19, 1976)

Although history records that this 1-1 draw, courtesy of a Kevin Keegan goal, was enough to win the UEFA Cup after the heroics of their first leg victory, the role of Paisley has been largely overlooked. Phil Neal had a torrid time in that first encounter at Anfield, which Liverpool won 3-2 after being two goals down. Despite calls for Neal to be dropped, Paisley stuck with him, and a strong rearguard performance as a unit managed a hard fought draw.

Liverpool 3-1 Borussia Moenchengladbach (European Cup final, May 25, 1977)

Another tactical masterstroke in arguably the biggest game in Liverpool's history assures Paisley's legendary status. Midfielder Ian Callaghan was called up to replace out-of-form striker David Johnson and the veteran performed superbly in a 3-1 win against Borussia Monchengladbach. This meant that Paisley became the first manager to win the UEFA Cup and the European Cup in successive seasons.

Liverpool 2-1 Manchester United (League Cup final, March 26, 1983)

The curtain came down on Paisley's incredible association with the club with yet another final and yet another trophy. This League Cup victory was his third in a row and the second of three successive League and League Cup doubles. Manchester United were the opposition and led through a Norman Whiteside goal, but a drive from Alan Kennedy and an extra time screamer from Ronnie Whelan gave Liverpool's manager the best possible send-off. Graeme Souness, as captain, insisted on Paisley climbing Wembley's 39 steps to collect the trophy and he later described it as the proudest moment of his life.


Club Competition Year
Liverpool League Championship 1946-47
Liverpool (as manager) League Championship 1975-76, 1976-77, 1978-79, 1979-80, 1981-82, 1982-83
League Cup 1981, 1982, 1983
European Cup 1977, 1978, 1981
UEFA Cup 1976

Did You Know...?

After hanging up his boots, Paisley joined the Anfield boot room as a self-taught physiotherapist. His team would later say that as a manager he could diagnose an injury just by looking at a player.

Paisley had to leave Liverpool during World War II and drive army vehicles without having a single driving lesson under his belt.

Paisley never wanted the manager's job in the first place. He told Kevin Keegan and the rest of the players during his first team meeting as Liverpool boss: "I'm not even sure that I can do it. I need all the help I can get from you lads. There'll be no disruption to the team. Let's just keep playing the Liverpool way."

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From the back pages

FC Bruges 1-1 Liverpool (Liverpool won 4-3 on aggregate) Published: May 20, 1976

UEFA Cup final 2nd leg match report

Liverpool 3-1 Borussia Moenchengladbach Published: May 26, 1977

European Cup final match report

The Kop Kings Of Europe Published: May 26, 1977

European Cup final front page

Rome, Sweet Rome! Published: May 26, 1977

European Cup final back page

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