Bill Shankly, 14-Apr-1964 (Picture by PA PA Archive/PA Images)

Promotion, titles, all-red kits and the rise of Bill Shankly – Liverpool FC in the 1960s

We look over some of the best photos of Liverpool FC in the 1960s, when Bill Shankly began to set the roots of the club’s long era of success.

Shankly took over as Reds manager in 1959, after spells as manager of Carlisle United, Grimsby Town, Workington and Huddersfield Town, inheriting a hit-and-miss Second Division squad.

Billy Liddell, Liverpool (PA Images)

The 1960s brought the end of the career of one of Liverpool’s most iconic players, with Billy Liddell playing the last of his 534 first-team appearances in a 1-0 loss to Southampton in 1960.


Shankly soon stamped his mark on the Reds’ squad, with Ron Yeats arriving from Dundee United in 1961, beginning a decorated career that saw him play 454 times, establishing himself as captain.

Ian St John Liverpool - Peter Robinson/EMPICS Sport

Ian St John also signed that year, breaking the club’s record fee for a signing at £37,500, staying at Anfield for a successful decade.

Tommy Smith, Liverpool (Peter Robinson/EMPICS Sport)

Yeats, a strong, no-nonsense centre-back, was joined at the heart of defence by academy talent Tommy Smith in 1962, becoming a cornerstone of Shankly’s side.

Liverpool squad 1962-63: (back row, l-r) Phil Ferns, Gordon Milne, Wilf Stevenson, Tommy Lawrence, Ronnie Moran, Jim Furnell, Alan A'Court, Chris Lawler, Gerry Byrne; (front row, l-r) Alf Arrowsmith, Gordon Wallace, Ian Callaghan, Roger Hunt, Ron Yeats, Ian St John, Jimmy Melia, ?

Yeats, St John and Smith were all part of Liverpool’s squad for the First Division season in 1962/63, having been won the Second Division title in Shankly’s third campaign with the club.

The Reds had been away from the English top flight for eight years, but would never drop out again.

League champions Liverpool pose with the trophy: (back row, l-r) Gordon Milne, Gerry Byrne, Tommy Lawrence, Ronnie Moran, Wilf Stevenson, trainer Bob Paisley; (front row, l-r) trainer Reuben Bennett, Ian Callaghan, Roger Hunt, Ian St John, ?, Ron Yeats, Alf Arrowsmith, Peter Thompson, manager Bill Shankly. 12 August 1964. ( PA Photos/PA Archive/PA Images)

Shankly led Liverpool to their sixth First Division title in 1964, their first since under George Kay in 1946/47. Roger Hunt was top scorer, with 31 goals in 41 games.

Liverpool captain Ron Yeats (top) holds onto the FA Cup as he is hoisted aloft by his jubilant teammates after their 2-1 win: (l-r) Geoff Strong, Yeats, Wilf Stevenson, Peter Thompson, Ian St John, Gerry Byrne, Ian Callaghan - PA Photos/PA Archive/PA Images

The 1960s brought a historical change for Liverpool in terms of kit, with Shankly prompting a change to an all-red ensemble, first seen against Anderlecht in the European Cup in 1964.

“Christ, the players looked like giants,” Shankly said of the 3-0 victory, “and we played like giants.”

The two managers, Leeds United's Don Revie (l) and Liverpool's Bill Shankly (c), lead their teams out onto the pitch before the match

Having lost their previous two finals in the competitions in 1914 and 1950, Liverpool finally got their hands on the FA Cup in 1965, with goals from Hunt and St John sealing a 2-1 win over Leeds United, in front of 100,000 at Wembley.

Liverpool's legendary Bill Shankly. Turning towards the Kop end of Anfield, Shankly gets an ovation from the fans who idolised him when Liverpool became League champions.

Shankly won his second First Division title with the club in 1966, continuing his rise to legendary status at Anfield: he sealed 11 major honours during his time with the club, instilling a winning mentality.

Roger Hunt, England and Liverpool (S&G/S&G and Barratts/EMPICS Sport)

Hunt, who joined the Reds in 1958, fuelled much of Shankly’s success, and in 1967 he broke Gordon Hodgson’s record to become the club’s all-time top goalscorer, with his 242nd strike.

The World Cup winner went on to net 285 goals, and still stands as Liverpool’s second-highest scorer, behind Ian Rush (346).

Ronnie Moran, Liverpool ( Barratts/S&G and Barratts/EMPICS Sport)

Liverpool’s glory in the 1960s cannot be discussed without mentioning the influence of Ronnie Moran, with the Scouse left-back a regular in Shankly’s side throughout the decade.

Liverpool squad 1969-70: (back row, l-r) Geoff Strong, Gerry Byrne, Chris Lawler, Tommy Lawrence, Ray Clemence, Larry Lloyd, Ian Ross, Alec Lindsay; (front row, l-r) Ian Callaghan, Alun Evans, Roger Hunt, Tommy Smith, Ron Yeats, Emlyn Hughes, Ian St John, Peter Thompson, Bobby Graham (Picture by PA Photos PA Archive/PA Images)

Over the 1960s, Liverpool won two First Division titles, one Second Division title, one FA Cup and three Charity Shields, foreshadowing a spell of heightened success.

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