Ian Ayre today highlighted the importance of Liverpool Football Club providing good role models to the local community and beyond as part of the club's extended programme towards corporate social responsibility.
The Reds managing director believes footballers can have a positive influence on the development of young people.
However, Ayre feels good role models do not just extend to those on the pitch, and insisted each and everyone associated with Liverpool can make a difference to the local community and add to the fabric of the club.
He said: "At Liverpool Football Club we have had, and still have, many role models.
"Bill Shankly, by his own admission, was a man of the people. He believed strongly that every player that ever pulled on the famous red shirt was an ambassador for the club, a role model for our fans and only the best was good enough.
"He was a role model to players and fans. Even today he is still talked about by players and fans, who ask, 'What would Bill do?' and 'What would Shankly say?'
"But role models come in all shapes and sizes, even at Liverpool Football Club.
"At our Academy in Kirkby, there is a sign as you enter the reception that greets every young player when they arrive. It talks about their role as a Liverpool player and their need to conduct themselves in what we call the 'Liverpool Way'.
"It informs all players that when they enter our Academy, they become role models and ambassadors for Liverpool Football Club. Every one of them needs to understand the values the club represents. It talks of respect, inclusion, integrity and honesty.
"We have over 200 young role models at our Academy and they play an important part in our community. When they are at school, they are expected to conduct themselves in the Liverpool Way and act as role models to fellow pupils.
"When they travel to games to play for Liverpool, they are expected to conduct themselves with dignity and be role models for other young players. They start very young but grow into fantastic and important role models for Liverpool Football Club."
Ayre was talking at the Football Is More foundation's international forum in Bad Ragaz, Switzerland.
Other keynote speakers included the United Nation's Wilfried Lemke, Dr. Anne-Lisa Schwarz of the Bundesliga Foundation and Kathleen Austrin, special advisor of the Zayed Higher Organisation of Abu Dhabi.
Ayre added: "Of course we have some more recognisable role models within our ranks.
"Ian Rush, our club ambassador, is a role model to children throughout our international soccer school programmes. Not only coaching and mentoring young players in football, but also in life skills and the disciplines needed to be a top player, the importance of education, looking after yourself as a player and eating healthily.
"Ian played 660 games for Liverpool and scored 346 goals - he is a perfect role model for any aspiring footballer.
"Our manager Kenny Dalglish is a role model to players and fans alike. He conducts himself with dignity. He recognises everyone as an individual but brings them together as a team. He is an exceptional role model to players in particular.
"At 60 years of age, he has been a winner as a player and manager at the highest level, he shows humility and is a fantastic ambassador for charity. I am fortunate to see him operating on a day-to-day basis and his manner around our young players is exceptional.
"He takes the time to ensure every new player and every young player is introduced properly to the club and welcomed into the family. Again, he is a true role model to any aspiring footballer.
"And our captain Steven Gerrard is a role model to fans. A local boy, from a humble background, playing for his local team and leading by example on the pitch.
"Perhaps most memorably by turning around a three-goal deficit at half-time in the Champions League final in Istanbul in 2005 to go on and win the game on penalties. He has a never-say-die attitude and is an inspirational leader."
Other teams present at the Football Is More forum included Manchester City, FC Zurich and Werder Bremen as the clubs took an opportunity to exchange information and ideas about community programmes.
The overall message was an emphatic one - 'Together we are stronger.'
Ayre said: "Without role models we would not be the club that we are. We would not be able to carry on the great traditions of Liverpool FC without its special place in world football.
"We would not be able to reach out to so many fans around the world and we would not be able to do the good work that is so important to our overall role in the community.
"Role models are not just important at Liverpool Football Club - they are absolutely essential."