Football world mourns death of Bob Paisley

From "Futurenet World News"

Bob Paisley, who guided Liverpool to three European Cups and six Championships in the 1970s and '80s, died today after a long illness.

And the 77-year-old Anfield legend was hailed as the greatest football manager of all time by former Liverpool captain Emlyn Hughes.

"He has got to be ranked alongside the greats of all time like Sir Matt Busby, Jock Stein, Sir Alf Ramsey and Bill Shankly," said Hughes.

"Bob probably even ranks above them because he achieved more than any of them put together when you consider his domestic and European honours."

Hughes told BBC Radio 5 Live: "Bob did the impossible and improved on Bill Shankly's team which nobody thought possible. He was a super, top-class, number one man."

Paisley died three weeks after his 77th birthday.

Former Liverpool player and radio broadcaster Mark Lawrenson said he had known he had been suffering ill-health but the death still came as a blow.

"It is quite a shock," said Lawrenson, who was signed from Brighton in 1981 for a club record 900,000 pounds.

"He was really like your grandfather. He had this very quiet way about him and never really lost his temper."

"He never needed to speak to you. If he knew you could play he would just let you get on with it."

Former Manchester United and Scotland manager Tommy Docherty described his old rival as the greatest manager of all time.

He said: "People talk about the great managers. He was the best. He won eight championships and four European cups. You cannot argue with a record like that."

"He took over from Shankly and he had the common sense to just let the team play."

"When you think of players like Dalglish, Souness, Hansen and Lawrenson it was the best side ever."

"He was a lovely man from the north east with a little smile and a quiet sense of humour."

Newcastle United manager and former Liverpool star Kevin Keegan said no-one could underestimate what Paisley achieved in the game.

He said: "No-one who came into contact with Mr Paisley could have had anything but total respect for his honesty and integrity."

"Nobody should underestimate what he did for Liverpool and my sympathy goes out to his family."

Paisley, who suffered from Alzheimer's Disease, lost his fight for life at the Arncliffe home in Halewood, Liverpool, at 9.30am.

He joined Liverpool as a player in 1939 and won the Championship with them in 1947.

From Hetton-le-Hole in County Durham, Paisley went on as assistant to Bill Shankly and then as manager to bring unprecedented success and glory to Anfield.

In nine brilliant years at the helm from 1974-83 he won 13 trophies - adding three Milk Cups and one UEFA Cup to the European Cup and domestic title successes. His management record remains unsurpassed.

When he finally elected to stand aside in 1983 the club followed the bootroom tradition by naming Paisley's assistant, Joe Fagan, as his successor.

Alan Hansen, the former Liverpool defender, said he was indebted to Paisley for giving him the chance of playing at the highest level.

"Bill Shankly took Liverpool from nowhere to the heights but Bob Paisley kept them there and had an unparalleled record in English football management," he said.

"I will always be grateful for him signing me and giving me the chance to play for Liverpool."

England coach Terry Venables added his voice to the tributes to the former Liverpool manager.

"Bob Paisley was the architect of one of the finest football sides of the modern European game," Venables said.

"His achievement will stand for all time. He was not only a legendary mastermind from the bootroom, he was a true ambassador for the game and an example to all."

Football Association chief executive Graham Kelly said: "I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing of the greatest manager in the history of the English game."

"His record at Liverpool is unsurpassed. His achievement and contribution to football will never be forgotten."