Football fans throughout the world will be pleased to hear about the latest Hotel from Liverpool based property developer and hoteliers Signature Living that they have confirmed the planned development for the Harris Hotel in Preston which will now be unveiled and launched as THE SHANKLY HOTEL Preston in honour of the footballing icon and legend William “Bill” Shankly OBE.

The Site of The Shankly Hotel Preston

The Site of The Shankly Hotel Preston

Signature Living - the company behind The Shankly Hotel and 30 James Street in Liverpool - is currently developing and constructing a number of other iconic football themed hotels. It is currently developing the Dixie Dean in Liverpool - in honour of the England and Everton Legend - and the George Best Hotel in Belfast - in honour of the former Manchester United and Northern Ireland footballer.  

The Shankly Hotel Preston will once again be a collaboration between The Shankly Family in partnership with Signature Living and will be led by Bill Shankly’s Grandson Chris Carline. Chris is also co-owner and curator of the Shankly Hotel in Liverpool along with Signature Living’s Lawrence Kenwright.

The decision to develop the hotel into the Shankly was one that both Chris Carline and Lawrence Kenwright felt was “entirely appropriate and fitting”. Lawrence Kenwright said “The Shankly Hotel is to not only celebrate his iconic footballing career and achievements but to honour the very special relationship he had with the city and people of Preston, having signed for Preston North End in 1933. It is a great honour to be working with Chris and the Shankly family on this exciting project for Preston.” 

Commenting on the announcement and plans Bill Shankly’s Grandson and Shankly Hotel CoOwner and Director Chris Carline said; 

“ It is a fitting tribute and legacy to my Grandfather for a hotel to be named in his honour in Liverpool, but it is also important for his legacy to be honoured in Preston where he spent much of his playing career. He had some amazing footballing highlights and achievements at Preston and made some incredible friends including Tom Finney who my Grandfather said was - “the greatest player he ever saw” -  I am absolutely delighted that we will be able to bring some of the Shankly magic to this incredible building and share some of the amazing memories with the people of Preston. I cannot think of two better places for Bill Shankly’s name to be remembered, honoured and celebrated.”

The former Grade II listed post office building which is 114 years old will be transformed into a luxurious 65 room boutique hotel breathing new life into this iconic building. The Shankly hotel will be modelled on similar lines to the Liverpool hotel which will feature Shankly memorabilia complete with photographs, and nostalgia connected to his time at the various clubs he served during his playing and management career.

Shankly’s association to Preston started in July 1933 - after a few appearances for Carlisle United  - when he signed for Preston North End.  Shankly played in the Preston side promoted to the First Division in 1934, and also played with them in two FA Cup finals, winning the iconic trophy in 1938. He was also a member of the Preston team that won the 1941 Wartime Cup Final at Wembley. It was at this time Shankly made his debut for Scotland in a 1-0 win against England in April 1938. He went on to make four further appearances for his country, plus another seven in wartime internationals and played for a number of different teams during the war, including Liverpool and Arsenal. 

Shankly returned to Preston after the war, but retired from playing in March 1949, immediately taking up a post as manager of Carlisle. He moved on to become manager of Grimsby Town in 1951, Workington in 1954, and Huddersfield Town in 1956. At Huddersfield he is remembered for discovering a talented 15 year old called Denis Law.  In December 1959 Shankly became manager of Liverpool who were mid table in the Second Division.

Under his management, Shankly transformed Liverpool’s fortunes getting them promoted into the First Division at the end of the 1961/2 season, and in 1963/4 they won the League Championship, a feat they repeated in 1965/6. He also won them their first FA Cup in 1965. The 1970s saw more success, including winning the UEFA Cup and League Championship, both in 1973, and the FA Cup the following year. Shankly retired at the age of 60 in July 1974 and was succeeded as Liverpool manager by Bob Paisley. He was awarded the OBE later that year.

Roger Jonas Head Of Stakeholder Relations for Signature Living said; 

“These are extremely exciting times ahead for Signature Living to be coming to Preston, there is a new era of excitement and confidence about the city. Preston has some exciting developments and projects at the moment including the re development of the Guild Hall by local entrepreneur Simon Rigby, the investment by Swedish furniture giant IKEA and the £430 million pound investment of The City Deal. Not only will this bring huge economic investment into the region but it will also see the creation of 20,000 new jobs and 17,000 new homes being built.” 

The Shankly Hotel Preston is due to open to the public in September  

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