The 40th anniversary of Bob Paisley's appointment as Liverpool manager is being celebrated in print and on the stage.
As we remember the great man taking over the managerial reigns from Bill Shankly 40 years ago today, July 26, 1974, Sport Media have published an updated version of broadcaster and author John Keith's official biography of Paisley, titled 'Smile on me and guide my hand' with previously unseen archive pictures.
This is the only biography of the great man authorised by the family and it tells some fascinating tales.
Paisley had to be persuaded to take on the job after Shankly’s shock retirement in July 1974 and many believed that following the legendary Scot was 'mission impossible'.
But Paisley, who had been Shankly's right hand man for almost 15 years, tore up the record books by landing 19 trophies in nine seasons in charge and he is the only British manager to win the European Cup three times.
We are delighted to reproduce an extract from the book. This section remembers the magical night in Rome in 1977.
Extract: After Liverpool won their first ever European Cup under Paisley: Paisley glowed in the emotion of the evening as he filled with pride in his players, the club and a sense of achievement for English football. "Wasn't that just tremendous!" he declared amidst the tumult of Liverpool's dressing room. "Words fail me and I've got no voice, anyway. To come away from Wembley and play like that was a feat in itself. Then our spirit was further tested when we made a mistake and gave away a brilliantly-taken goal. Their response speaks volumes for the players and shows just what great professionals they are.
"We did our work from midfield. That is the strategy we've worked on and employed in Europe. We concentrate on getting the front players to pull their markers away and that leaves space for our midfield men to come through. Tonight we slowed the game down to our pace, which allows greater expression of skills. It would be a good thing, also, for the game at national level. English football is always being knocked but we have the players and we have the skill and we shouldn't be frightened of anyone.
"The one department we do need to improve on in England is our finishing but there's so much to be proud of in our football. The secret is that our Liverpool team never know when to stop running and working. At Anfield we have always believed in players supporting each other and concentrating on not giving the ball away. Sometimes it's difficult because crowds create pressure. But you can't go charging forward all the time, willy-nilly. You must have patience, and this is where we can play the continentals at their own game."
Then he added with a twinkle in his eye: "We've done the country proud and this is my greatest moment - apart from when my team won a five-a-side game in training at Melwood a couple of weeks ago!"
Captain Emlyn Hughes received the huge trophy and lifted it high into the Roman air. He recalled: "I had to walk up only about eight steps for the presentation and when I picked up the cup, I said: 'There you are, lads, that's for us.' By us I mean the players, the fans and the boss, because we all thoroughly deserved it. Liverpool had joined the great teams of Europe and we had some good players. We had an aura about us in Europe and everyone was frightened to death of us, just as they were of other great teams such as Ajax, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich.
"During the 1970s I was privileged to play in great Liverpool teams who did magnificently in Europe. My only regret is that I never took a single photograph of all those places I visited in more than 12 years with Liverpool. I never saw the sights of a city and never visited a monument or a church which tourists travel thousands of miles to see. But that was because of Liverpool's professional attitude. All that Bob and Shanks were interested in was the job we were there to do, to win that particular match."
To also mark the 40th anniversary, a fantastic new anniversary show 'Bob Paisley: Reluctant Genius' will be staged at New Brighton's Floral Pavilion theatre in Wirral on Friday, September 12.
Presented by Keith, he will be joined on stage by four of Paisley's legendary players appearing live – Ian Callaghan, Jimmy Case, Alan Kennedy and Phil Neal.
The show also features rolling images and audio clips of Paisley.
Callaghan, who made a record 857 Liverpool appearances, said: "Bob did a fantastic job in following Shanks. His record of success was phenomenal.
"I'll always cherish the memory of his sheer pride for the club and the city when we won the European Cup for the first time in Rome in 1977 and I'm delighted that this stage show will tell Bob's remarkable story.”
Tickets at £15 and £12 concessions, plus a £1 booking fee are available now by calling 0151 666 0000 or by clicking here. They can also be purchased in person at the theatre box office.
Commenting on the book and show, Keith told Liverpoolfc.com: "I think Bob would like to be remembered as a man who kept the ship, not just floating after Shankly, but took it sailing through new horizons - which nobody had anticipated, and he did his best and brought more glory and success to Liverpool.
"He said, 'although I'm from the North-East, I love the people of Liverpool; they've made me one of their own.'
"He said he wanted to be remembered as a man who put back a lot of what Liverpool gave him. I don't think there's any quibble he did more than that - he really took Liverpool to that new level of being among the European elite.
"Shanks had resurrected them from mediocrity and again, Bob said quite modestly 'Bill built the house and I put the roof on it," which I think sums it up really.
"It was a double-act that put Liverpool where they are today. Without those two I don't think Liverpool would be where they are today."