Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Interview with George Sephton

George Sephton 

Still the voice of Anfield after 42 seasons in the hot seat. 
Sephton took the microphone for the first time against Nottingham Forest on August 14th 1971 and has been providing the musical backdrop for home games ever since.

How did it feel meeting Bill Shankly?

Surreal. I’d been a Liverpool fan all my life and ,by coincidence, started going to Anfield just after he was appointed manager. Never in a million years did I think that one day I’d get to shake his hand.

What inspires you most about him?

His single-mindedness. His rock-solid faith in what he was doing and his vision. He dragged Liverpool out of the wilderness and established the club that is worshipped worldwide today.

What do you think was the most important thing he brought into Liverpool Football Club?

Belief. He had no time for coming second. The will-to-win he instilled in the place was something to behold.

Why do you think he had such a strong relationship with LFC fans and the people of Liverpool?

Scousers and Shanks were kindred spirits. No-Nonsense people from working-class backgrounds who had a real and deep passion for the game.  He was a genuine “Man Of The People.”

What do you think his view of the modern game would be?

There are certain things he would have found unacceptable.   He would be uncomfortable with the huge salaries involved  and would make mincemeat of player’s agents !! But he’d STILL be winning trophies !!

Why do you think his legacy and reputation among all football fans has endured for so long?

Because we're still enjoying the fruits of his labours. The legend has been passed down the generations and 
even the youngest fans are educated in the modern history of the club which basically revolves around Bill Shankly.   

Tell us your favourite Shankly story / quote.

I have two stories.

One. In my second season Leeds were our big rivals for the title. One night we had a Youth Cup game at Anfield. In Yorkshire Leeds were playing away at Huddersfield ; the bottom team.
Huddersfield took the lead and I was told to announce the score. Big Cheer !!
During the second half Leeds score twice and , once again, the score was passed to me to announce.
After the final whistle I was standing in reception when one of the office staff advised me to beat a hasty retreat !  Apparently Shanks was after my blood for "ruining the atmosphere."
I  ran.  Three days later I arrived for the Saturday game and the first person I met was Shanks! 
I was quaking but he just smiled and said "Good Morning Son !" Panic over !

Two. On the staff plane to Paris in 1981 - Shanks climbed aboard. EVERYONE avoided sitting in the empty seat next to him. They were completely overawed.  Eventually , of course , the last man boarding the plane HAD to sit next to the great man and had the journey of a lifetime. The DJ John Peel often talked about the honour of carrying Shanks bag into the hotel in Paris. On the return trip I was told off by my family because Shanks was following me out of the airport and I WASN'T carrying his bag  

We've loved having George so involved in our David Peace event, 
WoW really appreciate all his support.
If you want to get in touch with George, follow him on twitter @VoiceOfAnfield

For tickets to David Peace's Liverpool launch click here 

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