Bob Shankly
Manager Profile

Manager Details

  • Full Name: Robert Fleming Blyth Shankly
  • Born: February 25th, 1910 (Glenbuck)
  • Died: May 5th, 1982 (Glasgow)
  • First Appointed: October 8th, 1959

Managerial History

Oct 8th, 1959 to Feb 16th, 1965

Most Appearances Top Scorers
1. Alan Cousin - 242
2. Alex Hamilton - 240
3. Andy Penman - 223
4. Bobby Cox - 219
5. Hugh Robertson - 203
6. Bobby Seith - 197
7. Alan Gilzean - 189
8. Ian Ure - 144
9. Pat Liney - 116
10. Bert Slater - 113
1. Alan Gilzean - 169
2. Andy Penman - 97
3. Alan Cousin - 82
4. Bobby Waddell - 43
5. Hugh Robertson - 42
6. Kenny Cameron - 28
7. Gordon Smith - 19
8. Bobby Wishart - 14
9. Alex Stuart - 11
10. Jimmy Bonthrone - 8

First Match In Charge
Oct 10th, 1959 1 - 3 vs. Rangers, League (Division One)

Last Match In Charge
Feb 13th, 1965 4 - 1 vs. Kilmarnock, League (Division One)

Total Players Used:

Biggest Win(s)
Feb 5th, 1963 8 - 0 vs. Montrose, Scottish Cup (2nd Round)
Dec 1st, 1962 10 - 2 vs. Queen of the South, League (Division One)

Heaviest Defeat(s)
Jan 9th, 1965 0 - 4 vs. Rangers, League (Division One)
Apr 24th, 1963 1 - 5 vs. AC Milan, European Cup (Semi Final 1st Leg)
Sep 26th, 1962 0 - 4 vs. FC Cologne, European Cup (Preliminary Round 2nd Leg)
Feb 11th, 1961 1 - 5 vs. Rangers, Scottish Cup (2nd Round)
Jan 23rd, 1960 0 - 4 vs. Kilmarnock, League (Division One)

Overall Record

Games Won Drawn Lost For Against
259 130 47 82 583 399
(50.2%) (18.1%) (31.7%) 2.25 pg 1.54 pg

At Home

Games Won Drawn Lost For Against
132 81 25 26 343 183
(61.4%) (18.9%) (19.7%) 2.60 pg 1.39 pg


1910 was an historic, even seminal year in the history of Dundee Football Club. It was the year in which Dundee won the Scottish Cup for the first and to date only time and it was also the year in which Bob Shankly, the architect of Dundee's Scottish League Championship victory in 1962 was born. Shankly is a name which is legendary in the annals of football but for Dundee fans, it means only one thing, that of Bob Shankly, the manager who took the Dark Blues to the height of their glories by becoming champions of Scotland, then reaching the European Cup semi-final in scintillating style.

Born in Glenbuck, in Ayrshire on February 25th, two months before Dundee lifted the Scottish Cup, Robert Shankly was the second youngest of five brothers who all played for the local village team Glenbuck Cherrypickers, before Bob himself joined Junior club Auchinleck Talbot.

By the time he joined Dundee in 1959, Bob had been in the senior game for twenty-nine years, having emerged from the coal mining pits to sign for Alloa Athletic in 1930. Both he and his brother John scored on his Alloa debut in a 2-1 Penman Cup win over Dundee and he combined his work as a miner with playing centre-forward for The Wasps.

Bob transferred to Falkirk for £100 after three years at Recreation Park and played for The Bairns for fifteen years before hanging up his boots and taking on a coaching position at Stenhousemuir. He returned to Brockville as manager in 1950, astutely leading them for seven years before moving to Third Lanark and leading the Hi-His to the League Cup Final which they lost 2-1 to Hearts in the wake of his departure.

Shankly gave up the chance to lead the Cathkin Park side out at Hampden in order to join Dundee after Willie Thornton had resigned but there was an abundance of young talent at Dens to entice the ambitious forty-eight year old. It could quite easily have been his brother Bill who took charge at Dens after he sent in a late application while he was at Huddersfield but Bob, with his quiet, unassuming efficiency, who was seen cutting his grass in his garden in Nelson Street before 9am the morning after Dundee had won the league, made The Dee into an outstanding team which his brother would have struggled to match.

Shankly relished the challenge ahead of him and the prospect of building on the youth policy Thornton had established which had already produced the likes of Gilzean, Ure, Hamilton, Cox, Robertson, Cousin, Gabriel and Penman. There was much work to be done however as Dundee had started the 1959/60 season badly having winning only three out of thirteen matches and his baptism of fire saw Dundee go down 3-1 at home to Rangers.

Shankly was Dundee's tenth manager and although initially languishing in mid-table when he arrived, his influence saw them climb to fourth place by the end of the season.

The 1960/61 campaign began brightly but injuries to Doug Cowie, Andy Penman, and George McGeachie took their toll and Dundee could only finish eighth. By then, Shankly was resident in the city after almost two years of commuting from Kincardine but on the park there were clear signs that he was close to a winning combination. He realised the importance of adding experience to the youthful talent and that term he had signed right-half Bob Seith from Burnley with inside-left Bobby Wishart arriving from Aberdeen.

Shankly was a down-to-earth character, described by Alan Gilzean as 'an honest man who would call a spade a spade. He was a real working manager for whom there was no public flamboyancy, no red carnation or rich cigar and he wasn't just one of those football bosses who just talked a good game. He would rather get his jacket off and get down to the gruelling business of football with his players and if there was one man who could rid Dundee of their 'nearly men' reputation (having finished as Scottish League runners-up on four occasions and in the top five seventeen times), it was Bob Shankly.

One thing that did concern Bob at the start of his third season was the supply line to his forwards Gilzean and Cousin and at the third time of asking. he secured the services of Gordon Smith who had won league medals with both Hibs and Hearts. However at thirty-seven years old, many Dundee fans wondered how much mileage there was in the 'Gay Gordon's' legs but it proved to be a masterstroke from 'Shanks' as Smith's clever prompting and deadly crossing became a major factor in Dundee embarking on a nineteen game unbeaten league run from September 23rd 1961 until February 3rd 1962.

Included in that Club record run was a coupon busting 5-1 win over Rangers at Ibrox on November 11th, arguably Dundee's greatest ever league result as Dundee set down a marker for their championship aspirations. The following week, Dundee came back from 4-2 down with twenty-seven minutes to go to win 5-4 at home to Raith and at the end of the campaign, Shankly singled this match out as a key moment in their Championship winning year, saying, 'Dundee's terrific fight and last gasp winner are surely among the greatest feats recorded all season."

At one point, near the end of January 1962, Dundee held an eight-point advantage over the Ibrox title favourites before enduring a six-game slump without a win. Just as Shankly had produced a winning blend, he now used all his vast experience and refused to be panicked into changes. In the end his judgement was vindicated with only fifteen players used as Dundee went on to win the Scottish League Championship with seven straight wins, the last, a 3-0 triumph over St. Johnstone at a sunny Muirton Park on April 28th 1962.

As well as their wonderful, flowing football, it had required great resilience to take the title and the Dark Blues would now play in the 1962/63 European Cup. West German champions Cologne were first to be put to the sword, going down 8-1 at Dens before Dundee were made to survive a rough-house return leg to qualify 8-5 on aggregate. Sporting Lisbon, who had pipped Benfica, the European Cup holders, to the Portuguese championship, were brushed aside 4-2 on aggregate, before Anderlecht, conquerors of five-times a magnificent 4-1 victory at the Heysel Stadium in Brussels and now Dundee were taken very seriously indeed.

However, the dream of playing in a European Cup Final at Wembley final was to end with a 5-1 defeat to A.C. Milan at the San Siro, although the 1-0 win in the Dens return restored a measure of pride.

The following year, Shankly took Dundee to the Scottish Cup Final where they were unfortunate to lose 3-1 to Rangers but less than a year later, he resigned and moved to take over at Hibs after being frustrated at the sale of top players such as Alan Gilzean, lan Ure and Charlie Cooke.

After four years in Edinburgh, a similar problem prompted him to resign from Easter Road but football was in his blood and in 1971 he returned as manager of Stirling Albion, later becoming general manager and then a director. Four years later he and his great friend Jock Stein were seriously injured in a motorway car crash. Both recovered but in May 1982, just a year after the death of his younger brother Bill, (72), Bob collapsed and died of a heart-attack whilst attending an SFA meeting.

At Dens Park the following Saturday against Airdrie, the Dundee fans chanted his name and in 1999 they ensured his name will live on forever when they voted to call one of the new stands, the Bob Shankly Stand. In 2010, Bob was again honoured by the Club when he was inducted into the Dundee F.C. Hall of Fame as the recipient of the Heritage Award.

He was a man with a sharp, if somewhat dry sense of humour, often telling the press on a Friday that wife Greta hadn't yet picked the team for the Saturday. However, Dundee fans are in no doubt who to thank for making them champions of Scotland and while Dundee's title success in 1962 was the greatest achievement of Bob Shankly's footballing life, it was also the greatest in the history of Dundee Football Club.

*Announced as manager on 17th September 1959.

Players Signed

New Players Transferred In
Player Date Signed Fee
1. Bobby Seith Jul 28th, 1960
2. Bobby Wishart Jan 6th, 1961 £3,500
3. Tommy Mackle May 18th, 1961
4. Gordon Smith Jun 0th, 1961
5. Doug Houston
6. Kenny Cameron Jan 20th, 1962
7. Bert Slater Jul 3rd, 1962
8. Steve Murray Aug 6th, 1963
9. Alex Totten May 4th, 1964
10. Jocky Scott Aug 5th, 1964
11. Charlie Cooke Dec 18th, 1964 £40,000

Youth Players Signed on Professional Terms
Player Pro Terms Signed
First Signing

Bobby Seith
on Jul 28th, 1960