Shanks died 25 years ago today. I’ve been thinking about him a lot today, wondering what he’d think of the game now. In many ways Rafa reminds me of Shanks, and if you’ve ever listened to a Rafa interview in his native Spanish you’ll know that Rafa is almost as witty as Shanks was.
I think if Shanks was still around today that he’d be quite bemused by the Internet, but once he’d got to grips with it he’d be using it to his own advantage. He’d also be disgusted at someone like Duncan Oldham.
Imagine writing to Shanks if we were fortunate enough to still have him around fit and well today. I know he’d be quite old and probably frail if he had lived on until today, but I’m picturing Shanks as fit and well as he was in the seventies receiving a letter like this today…
Dear Mr Shankly,
I hope you are well sir and I apologise for taking up some of your time in what might seem a trivial matter. As a passionate Liverpool supporter I felt I ought to make you aware of a person who is trying to bring our club’s great name into disrepute purely to make himself some cash.
This person is Mr Duncan Oldham. He lives, as far as we know, at 5 Swan Avenue, Wallsend, Near Newcastle. His attitude towards Liverpool Football Club is disgusting. I’m sure you’ll agree when you read on. This Oldham character owns the website Koptalk.coN – I’ve changed its name there to reflect the reality of it. He’s been running this site since around 1999 and it was quite a useful site initially. Now it’s just a way for him to con Liverpool supporters and smear Liverpool staff and players.
You are of course fully aware of what we Liverpool supporters think of the S*n newspaper, and of course I remember your own views on the paper in 1989 when it made those despicable comments. Mr Oldham, fully aware of the boycott we all have on the S*n, decided it wasn’t important back in 1998 and wore a S*n hat to the World Cup in France. Pictures of him wearing this hat were all over his website afterwards, but he made sure he smudged the S*n logo from the photo first. He later claimed not to have known about the boycott, blaming it all on him being “too young” and being from out of the area. We’ve found comments from him before the World Cup talking all about the S*n boycott though, so he was clearly lying.
He also admitted recently that he reads the S*n every day, admitting to having it delivered to his home. He uses it to write “Exclusive” stories on his site, knowing full well that any reputable supporter would not be reading that paper under any normal circumstances. A story in the S*n is completely unknown to any real Liverpool fans of course, and so he helped his site get more hits by copying their stories. This, tied with the wearing of the S*n hat and other actions involving that paper saw him get some criticism from visitors to his site. As a result, and after it being proved he was lying about being unaware of the S*n boycott saw him react in a way that saw a large part of his site’s visitors leave on the spot. He picked on Peter Crouch, a Liverpool player who was at that time under a lot of criticism from England’s so-called supporters. He made up a story that Crouch had given an exclusive story to the S*n. He was pressed about it and so decided to shout that Crouch had not only given this interview, but that Oldham had got the tapes to prove it! A complete lie of course, and one designed to hurt Crouch too. Especially when Oldham commented that he would hang onto those tapes until he felt like ending Crouch’s Anfield career!
It’s not the first time Oldham has had a go at players from the club you worked so hard to turn into a superpower in football. A few years ago he made efforts to smear Robbie Fowler, making up stories about him being unfit to play due to being on the ale too much. It was all false and all part of his campaign to really screw Robbie’s Liverpool and England careers up. You know he even tried to sell this nonsense to the press, no doubt even including the S*n?
He likes to imply he knows people inside the club – of course you and I know he doesn’t. He makes out he’s got something on Rick Parry, someone he claims to meet regularly. Rick Parry’s also told me (through more than one third party) that he has never met Oldham, let alone have anything that he’s frightened Oldham might be able to blackmail him with. Oldham hates Liverpool – this much is clear with all of these attempts at hurting the club by hurting its players and officials. He tried to spread a load of nonsense about Bellamy having a bust-up with Rafa at Melwood the weekend of the derby. You’ll have no doubt heard all the rumours coming from the bluenoses about Craig – well look no further than Wallsend for the source of this river of diarrhoea.
As well as hurting the club whenever he can he loves to rip off the club’s lifeblood – the fans. People from overseas rely on him and gladly give him money they may find it hard to afford in return for his information from inside the club. I know and you know that he has no such inside information, but it doesn’t stop him taking £30 each off any fan who falls for his lie-infested sales pitch. He says they’ll get insider info – they get none. He implies he’ll give them free web feeds of live action from the games so they can watch a whole match on their computer. He just links to another free web site that provides those feeds, nothing secret at all. He does sometimes offer clips of goals – but these are clips he’s not paid for and couldn’t afford to pay for – he knows he’s breaking the law to provide them but even sticks his site’s koptalk.coN name over the top of them. He says they’ll get text messages to their mobile phones from him with news and more – but most people I speak to just don’t get them. Only a token few are able to get the messages. He sells fake merchandise, claiming it to be signed. He sells tickets at prices that a street tout would be ashamed of.
It’s hard to know where to stop when listing all the things he’s done to hurt Liverpool supporters. He got married to his ex-wife at Anfield, but just like he’s always tried it on with other women he’s tried it on with other clubs. He’s got a season ticket for Newcastle now and goes when he can. He tried to set up a website for them too, but he couldn’t get it going because their fan base is largely Newcastle based and they got wind of how he also ran a Liverpool site. That might be why he lost his Spurs site, or it could be because he didn’t pay the bill for the software he tried to use. That Spurs site even had a BLUE Liverbird on it!
He’s got his family running his site – they all seem to be claiming benefits and he tries to keep everything cash-in-hand. He and his family don’t work, yet they’ve got the money to upgrade their cars and buy huge-screen TVs, expensive cameras and other stuff.
I meant this note to be a short one, just to let you know that if you popped into Melwood this week you might see him stood on the roof of the Mercedes car he bought with the money he ripped out of the hands of Liverpool fans. It’s got a “D 1 UNK” registration plate, you can’t miss it. He’ll say hello to you as you pass and claim he was chatting to you. He takes photos from over the fence at Melwood then tries to make out he’s been inside the place! I’ve not got time to talk about his scams under a false name to rip people off for Sky TV viewing cards or his attempts to get people to join him and his wife for some sordid video activity.
Thanks for taking the time to read this – I hope you are able to do something about him,
Of course with Mr Shankly I’d have used my real name, but I can already guess what his actions would be. There’s about to be a two-week break from club football where he’d not be able to go and watch the Reds in action. He’d have gone over to Wallsend and knocked on the door of the conman’s house and he’d not have left until he’d got every penny back for the fans. Oldham would finally have got someone of relevance from the club to speak to him directly – but not in the way he’d want on video. By the time Shanks arrived back on Merseyside Oldham would have lost his cars and his plasma tellies along with that big wodge of cash he keeps in his sock drawer. Shanks would not have stood for what Oldham is all about, what Oldham has tried to do to our club. He’d also not have left until he’d got Oldham to close his sites down with a message saying why they were closed down.
Oldham is scum, 100% the opposite of what Liverpool are all about, 100% the opposite of what Shanks tried to turn Liverpool into. Time Oldham left our club alone.
Shanks was special, the sort of person you are lucky if you ever get to meet, the sort of person Liverpool were lucky to have as our manager for the fifteen years he did the job. I think he’d be pleased with what Rafa is doing at Anfield now, although I’m sure he’d keep Rafa on his toes if he was asked about his views!