After a distinguished playing career that included spells at Partick Thistle, Carlisle United, Preston North End, and the Scottish national team, Shankly turned to management in 1949. His first post was a return to Carlisle, followed by moves to Grimsby Town (1951-54), Workington (1954-55), and Huddersfield Town (1956-59), before joining Liverpool. He had interviewed for the Liverpool post in 1951, but had been rejected in favor of Don Welsh.
When he arrived on Merseyside, Liverpool were sitting in tenth position on the Division Two table and had not been in the top flight since 1954. Shankly steered them to consecutive third-place finishes in his first two seasons, then earned promotion in 1962 by winning the division. He subsequently guided Liverpool to three league titles (1964, 1966, 1973), two FA Cups (1965, 1974), and one UEFA Cup (1973).
Shankly retired in 1974 at the age of 60 and died in 1981.