Sammy Lee: The Bootroom Connection

James MughalContributor IJune 9, 2009

The Boot Room has become a mythical figure for generations of Liverpool fans since the arrival of Bill Shankly to Liverpool in 1959. Football boots of the players were stored there as the name hints as well.

Bill Shankly also turned it into a tea room, where Liverpool coaching staff talk about football and exchange ideas. Managers of visiting teams were also invited for a drink or tea after the match as Kenny Dalglish said:

“After games, Ronnie and Roy would sit in their famous hideaway, chatting away, dispensing a little bit of liquid hospitality to visitng managers and coaches, who were always delighted to be invited into Anfield’s famous Boot Room. But it was so cunning. All the while Ronnie and Roy were picking up little bits of information about players, perhaps even about tactics.”

Since the times of Bill Shankly, Liverpool had tradition of promoting from within rather going outside the club to hire next manager, coach or scout. This system served Liverpool well for 31 years from Shanks arrival in 1959 to leaving of Kenny Dalglish in 1990. Liverpool won 13 League Titles, 4 European Cups, 4 FA Cups and many other trophies in that glorious period in history of Liverpool Football Club. Four successive Liverpool managers also won the league titles.

The 1990s was a dark decade for Liverpool Football Club with the rise of auld enemy Manchester United. Roy Evans was the last of boot room managers as Liverpool Chairman David Moores said “I am giving you last of Boot room” in 1994.

It was also fulfilling of prophecy by former Liverpool chairman John Smith, who had predicted in the 1970s that Roy will manage Liverpool one day.

The appointment of Sammy Lee last summer as assistant manager to replace Pako made me happy. Lee was a boyhood Liverpool supporter, who played under Shankly’s successor Bob Paisley in the glory days of Liverpool.

It might be a cliché, but Lee is part of Liverpool furniture and he know the club inside out. This is his club and he had finally returned home.