Interview with Chris Carline, grandson of Bill Shankly and founder of The Shankly Family Foundation…
What is the ethos behind The Shankly Family Foundation, who is involved, and what made you decide to set it up?
The same ethos by which my grandad lived really, that socialist mantra, for the people. He lived by that all his life and in many ways that is why I decided to set it up in 2013 (which would have been his 100th Birthday), as I thought a charity was a perfect way to re-enforce and build on his legacy of being a man of the people. Additionally; he and my nan, Nessie were always involved in charity and fundraising endeavours, so all in all it seemed like a perfect idea. The Charity is run by a small board, myself as chair and founder and two other people. We also have a really close team of delivery partners and advisors who work closely with the board. Everyone volunteers their time. The two main outputs or goals for the charity are to support grass roots football and provide positive opportunities for children and young people.
What are some of the fundraising events that you’ve organised so far?
We have delivered a number of events, outputs and fundraisers since we have been operational. We have delivered The Shankly Family Foundation Cup – a free event for grass roots football teams to take part in and delivered a number of free spots and youth camps in deprived areas of Liverpool during school holidays. We have also sponsored a local football team who have now become The Shankly Family Foundation FC, whereby we have bought their kit and paid to send them to play a team from the Glenbuck area in Scotland – where, of course, my granddad was from. We’ve also done some work with a football team and young people from the Hackney area of London, which John Barnes helped out with. Fundraising wise; we have conducted bucket collections at Anfield during match day, held our birthday party fundraiser, which Kevin Keegan, Roy Evans, Ian Callaghan and Chris Lawler attended; and are currently bringing funds in from a deal we have with T-Shirt and Merchandise company Dreams and Songs to Sing and a deal we have with Lunch with Legends over raffle of memorabilia.
…And what events do you have planned for the future?
We are currently in the process of organising The Shankly Glenbuck Memorial Cup 20th Anniversary Match and Charity Bike Ride. 20 years ago; a game was played up in Muirkirk, the next village over from Glenbuck between a team from Liverpool and a team from Glenbuck to celebrate the unveiling of the memorial at Glenbuck. In conjunction with this, a guy walked the near 300 miles from Liverpool to Glenbuck to raise money for charity, arriving in Glebuck on the day of the game. The trophy is currently at The Shankly Hotel waiting to be displayed, as the Foundation has an affiliation with the hotel due
to the fact I am the Director of the hotel. We thought it would be a great idea to get the game on again to celebrate the 20 year anniversary and do something to raise money for the Foundation and a grass roots organisation in Scotland, The Glenbuck Football Academy.
What is the ultimate long-term goal and aim for the charity?
One of the big things I want is for us to become self-sustaining. I said it from the start. All the charitable outputs we delivered above were done by us having to lever money in either through fundraising or writing fundraising bids. The problem with this is that there are no guarantees of getting funding and it is an onerous process. I said from the start that when we were two years old we needed to be moving towards being self-sustaining which, effectively means generating our own money. In 2015 I saw an opportunity with a local girls’ secondary school in Liverpool that has a great link to the Shankly family as all the female grandchildren attended it. Holly Lodge Girls College which is in West Derby, and adjacent to the Bill Shankly Playing Field, a mere 200 yards or so from where my grandad lived; was being new built and had some incredible sporting and youth facilities within its grounds. The school wanted someone to come in and run these facilities out of hours with the simple remit of getting as much usage of the facilities as possible, which in turn would generate revenue and additionally, boost the profile of the school. Our Board and delivery team have extensive contacts with sports and youth providers all over the City so I knew we were ideally placed to do this successfully. We met with the school and I proposed a license/lease arrangement with us whereby we pay the school a monthly fee for occupying the premises (giving them money they have never had) and any profit generated minus overheads goes to the Foundation to allow us to become self-sustaining. It also show cases the school.
Have the Premier League and Football League been supportive at all towards the charity?
We haven’t really had any dealings with them, but to be fair, we haven’t approached them. The whole grass roots agenda is so big, and we are only two years old. I want to get us to a place where we fully understand the processes and agenda before we sit down with people like the Premier League or Football League.
How can others get involved in fundraising for The Shankly Family Foundation, or how can donations be made?
Just get in touch! We can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @Shanklyff or Facebook – search The Shankly Family Foundation.
Visit the SFF website at: www.theshanklyfamilyfoundation.com