Managers come and go but groundsmen stay forever.
Yet after Bill Shankly’s near two year stay at Borough Park, he forged a solid friendship with Billy Watson that lasted into the eighties.
The latter had been two years into his long association with the club as groundsman when Shanks arrived as manager in January 1954. They became firm friends and remained so even when the Scot became manager of Liverpool.
Our Billy was occasionally invited down to Anfield or Mellwood to spend a day amongst the players as Shankly’s guest.
It was a special day, therefore, when Shanks returned to Borough Park in 1980 and the two were pictured on the pitch again for the first time in twenty five years. The former Carlisle United and Preston North End player had been invited back to the club to open a lounge named in his honour.
Sadly Shanks passed away a year after his return to Workington and Billy Watson was part of the cortege at the great man’s funeral.