Thu 18 November 2021 | 17:30

Greatest Bob Paisley quotes, a Complete Collection

Winning six League Championships, three League Cups, six Charity Shields, three European Cups, one UEFA Cup, and one UEFA Super Cup, 20 titles makes him the most decorated English manager of history. Here, we take a look at the greatest Bob Paisley quotes.

Playing his entire career as a defender for Liverpool from 1939–1954, Bob Paisley initially took a role as a self-taught physiotherapist and then as chief coach to Bill Shankly, who reshaped Liverpool into a giant club in England, until he took over from the great Bill Shankly, who retired following the 1974 FA Cup Final victory. Far from suffering in comparison to his predecessor, Paisley led the club to almost unimaginable levels of glory, literally conquering all Europe.

The great

Bill Shankly

is credited with turning Liverpool's fortunes around throughout the 60s and early 70s, and deservedly so. He took a team floundering in the second division, and returned them to the top of English football, aiming the bow for a period of unparalleled success until he surprisingly retired in 1974.

But the man who was chosen to fill the large boots of one of the greatest ever, represents the greatest managerial appointment in the history of football. The man who had gates erected in his name at Anfield alongside those built in Shankly's honor, Bob Paisley.

A Complete Collection of Greatest Bob Paisley Quotes

Being the most decorated English manager of history, there were most of a few lines that led Bob Paisley’s Liverpool to the glory. Along with Bill Shankly, much of what we recognize as Liverpool is for the hard works of their icon, Bob Paisley, who contributed almost all of his life to Liverpool as he served the club as a player, a manager, and a director.

Although Paisley’s quiet, humble personality makes him less remembered as fondly as Shankly, or another countryman in Sir Alex Ferguson. But either man would happily tell you that any comparison is utterly redundant; Paisley's legacy stands up to any, and dwarves most. Here, in the greatest Bob Paisley quotes, we can get a sense of this greatness through his words.

Bob Paisley Most Famous Quotes

Having won 20 major honors in his time as Liverpool manager,

Bob Paisley

remains, to this day, the most successful manager in the club’s history and the most successful English manager of all time. He is also the only manager of an English club (that remains in the first division today) to win and defend the European Cup/Champions League, doing so in the 1977/78 season. He won honors at a rate of 2.2 per season, a rate surpassed only by Pep Guardiola.

However, his up and downs in his life, including serving England in World War II, makes it interesting to review the

greatest Bob Paisley quotes


“At the highest level the first two yards are in your head.”

Good Times, Bad Times

“One of the things I keep reminding players is that when you're lost in a fog, you must stick together. Then you don't get lost. If there's a secret about Liverpool, that's it.”

“Believe it or not the most thrilling experience of my life has nothing to do with football. It was the unforgettable sight of Vesuvius in eruption while stationed near Naples during the war.”

“The most pleasurable experience is a football one and came when I won an Amateur Cup Final with Bishop Auckland in 1939.”

“Mind you, I've been here during the bad times too - one year we came second.”

While still playing:

“Though I hope to have a few more seasons still in senior football, I am studying to be a physiotherapist and masseur when my playing days are over. We married men have to look to the future, you know.”

“Other people have earned more money than me in football, but no-one has enjoyed it as much as me.”

“I'd always had an interest in physiotherapy and psychology.”

“I said that when I took over that I would settle for a drop of Bell’s once a month, a big bottle at the end of the season and a ride round the city in an open top bus!”

“The secret is that our Liverpool team never know when to stop running and working. At Anfield we have always believed in players supporting each other and concentrating on not giving the ball away. You can’t go charging forward all the time, willy-nilly. You must have patience, and this is where we can play the Continentals at their own game.”

On Liverpool and the Kop

In this part of the

greatest Bob Paisley quotes

, we gather his quotes about his love and passion for Liverpool.

Being born a


fan, teenage Paisley told his beloved Sunderland who after rejecting him as being ‘too small’ tried to pinch him from the Reds.

“I’ve made a promise and I never break a promise. I’m going to Liverpool.”

“The whole of my life, what they wanted was honesty. They were not concerned with cultured football but with triers who gave 100%.”

“I can let the team do the talking for me.”

“This club has been my life. I’d go out and sweep the street and be proud to do it for Liverpool FC if they asked me to.”

“I'll admit, right away, that I am disappointed that we did not have a major trophy to show for our efforts. We were in four and we had a good side, but when you count second place as failure, then standards are becoming fantastically high. We never celebrate second place here.”

“This club has been my life. I’d go out and sweep the street and be proud to do it for Liverpool FC if they asked me to.”

Winning the 1977 European Cup in Rome over

Borussia Mönchengladbach


“This is the second time I’ve beaten the Germans here… the first time was in 1944. I drove into Rome on a tank when the city was liberated.

“If anyone had told me I’d be back here to see us win the European Cup 33 years later I’d have told them they were mad! But I want to savour every minute of it… which is why I’m not having a drink tonight. I’m just drinking in the occasion.”

“We have a marvellous backroom team at Anfield who share the workload wonderfully well. No club has a more able and closely-knit staff than ours.

“The Anfield boot room has become legendary, and we have a full and frank exchange of views in there in a leisurely atmosphere every Sunday morning. It’s just like popping down to the local.”

“One of the things I keep reminding players is that when you’re lost in a fog, you must stick together. Then you don’t get lost. If there’s a secret about Liverpool, that’s it.”

“From a psychological point of view, that was a big asset. I’ve had a fair time to judge the Liverpool people and I think they’re tremendous.”

After 11th-Wembly visit for a final:

“I’m surprised they don’t charge me rent and rates.”

After Bill Shankly spent the first Saturday of his retirement at Goodison Park as Liverpool were away at Luton, Paisley took the opportunity to take a dig at their local rivals,



“He’s trying to get right away from football. I believe he went to Everton.”

On Football

In this part of the

greatest Bob Paisley quotes

, we take a look at his views on his favorite game, football.

“If you're in the penalty area and don't know what to do with the ball, put it in the net and we'll discuss the options later.”

“I have always preferred to liken the championship to a marathon. You have to know how to start the race, how to take the strain when problems come along and to make sure you don't give any potentially dangerous rivals an advantage. My policy is to ideally have five or six men around the age of 26, a couple of youngsters, a couple round the 28 mark and one or two in their 30s. But the nucleus of the team should be experienced and not too old.”

“It's not about the long ball or the short ball, it's about the right ball.”

“The sort of lad I am looking for is a kid who will nutmeg Kevin Keegan in training, then step aside him in the corridor.”

“At the highest level the first two yards are in your head.”

Ranting and Newspapers

“Newspapers remind me of Jaws. They’ll consume anything you’ve got and be back for more the next day.”

“Ranting and raving gets you nowhere in football. If you want to be heard, speak quietly.”

“If I was pinned down I'd say that was my greatest asset. I could speak to players and give them examples of injuries and how they heal.”

On Jimmy Adamson, the former Burnley manager:

“A lot of teams beat us, do a lap of honour and don’t stop running. They live too long on one good result. I remember Jimmy Adamson crowing after Burnley had beaten us once, that his players were in a different league. At the end of the season they were.”

On Players

In this part of the greatest Bob Paisley quotes, we gather his quotes about fellow players and managers.

On Billy Liddle:

“Bill was so strong it was unbelievable. You couldn’t shake him off the ball. It didn’t matter where he was playing, though I suppose his best position was outside-left. He could go round you, or past you, or even straight through you sometimes!”

On Joe Fagan:

“You may have found me mean and thirsty in my search for trophies, but the bad news is the man who is taking my place is hungrier than me. Fagan’s the name and I don’t think he’ll need any help from the Artful Dodger!”


Kenny Dalglish


"I just hoped that after the trials and tribulations of my early years in management, someone up high would smile on me and guide my hand. My plea was answered when we got Kenny Dalglish. What a player, what a great professional!"

On Bill Shankly:

"Bill Shankly put steel tips on his shoes so people knew he was coming, whereas I'd be happy in my slippers."

On Shankly’s surprise resignation:

“It was such a shock. I told him: 'You can't pack it in, it will kill you', and sad to say it eventually did. I knew this more than anyone else, because I was the closest to him in the game, and I tried harder than anyone else to persuade him to stay. I must have asked him a hundred times what was getting him down, but he wouldn't say and to this day I can't tell you why he retired. I used to say: 'Bill, what are you going to do with yourself if you retire?'”

Best Quotes About Bob Paisley

In this final part of the greatest Bob Paisley quotes, we gather top quotes that have been said about Anfield’s iconic boss.

Brian Clough: “

He was a great man, and has once and for all broken the myth that nice guys don’t win anything.”

Tommy Smith:

“If Shankly was the Anfield foreman, Paisley was the brickie, ready to build an empire with his own hands.”

Ian Callaghan:

“Liverpool wouldn’t be the club it is today without Bill Shankly and Bob Paisley and the players who played there. When I first went there it was a typical Second Division ground, and look at it now!”

Roy Evans:

“I’m a 25-year-old guy and he is asking my opinion…He is saying, ‘You might not get it right but you might get one little thing we don’t.’ They gave you your voice, your confidence, and that’s the only way you could learn, really. It showed he wanted the people below him to have a voice and to speak.”


Ron Atkinson: 

“I find it extraordinary that Manchester United saw

Matt Busby

, Bobby Charlton and Alex Ferguson knighted but Shankly and Paisley were plain ‘Bill’ and ‘Bob’. They deserved as much recognition, Paisley particularly.”

Alan Kennedy: 

“He didn’t just chat to the tea ladies and the kit washing women, he knew their first names and, more to the point, wanted to know them.”

Ray Clemence: “

Bob said ‘look, we’re going to continue to do things the way Bill Shankly did it, we’re just going to do it better’.”

Phil Neal: “

Bob didn’t focus on individuals, he treated everyone the same. He knew the importance of the team and so no-one was left out in the cold. If you had a problem on or off the pitch his door was always open.”

Alan Hansen:

“Under Bob Paisley, if a player showed signs of complacency, he was out. It was all over for him.”

Bill Shankly: “

Bob and I never had any rows. We didn’t have any time for that. We had to plan where we were going to keep all the cups we won.”


A 35-year old

Sir Alex Ferguson

wrote in the match programme when he was still managing St. Mirren, while Liverpool drew 1-1 with Sir Alex's St. Mirren's side in 1977 before beating them 5-4 on penalties.: 

“Incredible. That’s the only way to describe the remarkable Merseysiders.

“What a fantastic honour it is for us to be playing the European Champions on our own ground! Liverpool are a side every football fan born north or south of the border admires tremendously.

“The Anfield club has almost become an institution: I don’t see them ever being known from now on as anything less than one of the best teams in the country.

“You can’t talk of how great the Reds are without mentioning their incredible support. I travelled down to Anfield with Davie Provan last season to watch Liverpool play St Etienne in the European Cup.

“I will never forget the experience as those fanatical fans sang their heads and helped carry their team into the next round.

“Bob Paisley can bring in people like David Fairclough, Jimmy Case, Phil Thompson and Tommy Smith. Incredible, isn’t it?”

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