It's no exaggeration to say Bill Shankly was the founder of the modern Liverpool Football Club.
He was to Liverpool, what Sir Matt Busby was to Manchester United. Two great Scottish managers who arrived at two great clubs.
In the case of Shankly, he turned that club into the most consistently successful institution in the history of English football.
Shankly laid down the rules. He wrote the bible, the training manual, which Liverpool have lived by.
Much more importantly, in my opinion, were the standards he set and the indomitable spirit he instilled that you can even see in a photograph or a statue of Shankly.
He was an extraordinary man. A man for whom a love of football flowed.
He adored the way of football, the banter, and you could even claim he invented the wild exaggeration and the 'mind games'.
There's a quite famous anecdote of how the press were once summoned to Anfield to take a tour around his new signing, the great giant that was Ron Yeats, who would go on and have a long and happy relationship with the club.
He spoke about players being colossuses, and people believed it. That had a lot to do with the almost ferocious winning mentality teams used to fear when they came to Anfield.
This, of course, lasted way beyond Shankly's own tenure. When you saw fortress Anfield, you saw teams being pummelled for 90 minutes, even in later eras.
Shankly designed that ferocity.
He was undoubtedly a great man. For me, even greater than Bob Paisley because although Paisley may have produced more beautiful teams, and, if you include the European dimension, more success, I'm sure he would be the first to say that you couldn't have one without the other.
Shankly laid the foundations for Paisley's glory. Paisley became the most decorated manager in English football by building upon that legacy.
That's the greatest tribute I can pay Shankly - without him there would have been no Paisley.
Although much of Shankly's reign was before my entry into the world of journalism, I do have a tale of my own to tell about the man.
I'd started in the job of a football reporter in 1974, just before Shankly's resignation, and I'd been asked to write a piece about Ian Callaghan for the Guardian newspaper.
I quizzed one of my colleagues on how I'd go about it and he told me to ring Shankly at Anfield.
To me, Shankly was something of a god and the idea of phoning him was quite fanciful, but my co-worker was adamant.
So I rang and explained who I was to the receptionist, expecting her to laugh and tell me Shankly was a very busy man and wouldn't be able to speak with me.
But, suddenly, a voice appeared at the other end and I released it was Shankly pretty quickly - nobody else said 'yes' quite like him in that almost aggressive, bristling way of his.
I was stammering furiously at this point, so much so he could probably have seen me blushing down the phone.
'I was just wondering what you thought of Ian Callaghan?' I asked.
There was a slight pause before Shankly replied, 'Jesus Christ!'
'Oh no,' I thought, 'I've upset him and now he's swearing at me.'
I apologised, but he replied, 'No, no son. I'm saying Jesus Christ is who Ian Callaghan reminds me of.
'Cally's the greatest man to have existed on this earth since Jesus Christ and he sets an example for everyone around him. He lives his life properly and provides an inspiration for everyone that comes into contact with him.'
That was Shankly through and through. You could turn on his enthusiasm. Even a stranger like myself, an unknown journalist, could do it like turning on a tap.
Many people often question whether Shankly could have replicated his success it in the modern day game. I'm sure he could. His force of personality would carry him through.
Shankly would have adjusted and quickly realised you can do certain things, but not others - in particular, his habit of treating injured players as if they were pariahs might have been a bit difficult these days.
But I tell you what, I would not like to be the agent who phones him up asking why my player isn't in the team.
Another great virtue of Shankly was humour.
To take a present example, Jose Mourinho could get away with some fairly outrageous things by being disarmingly candid, to the point where people start tittering.
Shankly would have continued that in the modern game. Reporters would be nervous in his presence and be jotting down his every word, and I think because of that he would have gotten away with things that maybe others don't in this more puritan era.
He would have been fine with all the improvements in fitness and general habits that have been made. Those were things he believed in himself and would have approved of.
As long as he had a good tactician by his side, as he did in Bob Paisley, I think he would have been just as successful as he was in his own time. I don't think there would have been a great difference.
His vision and force of personality were his greatest assets and what made him so successful.
Kevin Keegan, who was a Shankly disciple, was once asked by a journalist when he was at Newcastle if they'd be looking to consolidate their position in the top flight after they'd just been promoted.
He replied, 'I don't recognise that word, there is no such thing.'
That was Shankly's philosophy - whatever you compete in, you should aspire to be the best in.
If you go up from the second best division to the best division, your ambition should be to win that division as soon as possible.
He also had the ability to make hard decisions - he was a very ruthless manager.
But that is something a manager needs have in his armoury. It's very difficult to think of many managers who haven't had that ability to make hard decisions, even if they do it as, for example, Arsene Wenger does with a smile and a sympathetic look on their face.
For young people now, I suppose Shankly must be as remote as Herbert Chapman, who is another of the managerial greats.
I can't quite envisage Chapman, so there must be young people now who, of course, understand why Shankly was great, and why he is a legend, but can't quite visualise him.
I suppose for younger people he's become something of a statue, but for elders over the age of maybe 40 or 50, they remember that personality and galvanic quality that only few others have possessed.
To me, Shankly means Liverpool Football Club and the Kop. I can't divide them.
When I hear the name 'Bill Shankly', the first image that springs to mind is that famous celebration in front the Kop with a scarf tied around his neck.
He was Liverpool and as close to the supporters as any manager has ever been.
There are very few clubs where a manager is indivisible from the fabric of the club in the way that Shankly is with Liverpool.