RIP Bobby Wilcox, Liverpudlian 1948 - 2009

With a heavy heart, Spirit of Shankly regrets to announce the death of Bobby Wilcox last night at the Royal Liverpool Hospital after a short illness. He had only very recently been diagnosed with cancer, and his family were with him at the bedside. He was sixty years old.

For those reading this that did not know him you have missed one of the greatest characters that this city has produced. For those who have met him the loss will be deeply felt.

If ever the much overused word Legend applied to anybody it's Bobby Wilcox – a man who was the very essence of Scouse. With all due respect to those who have put their tales of following the Reds into print, Bobby’s stories and memories would have been priceless and they will live on - but if only we had them in a book or documentary for posterity as many of us had coaxed him to do in recent years.

When he was in the queue for the book signing of 'Here We Go Gathering Cups in May' at Waterstones a while back and he got his book signed by all seven of the writers Peter Hooton recalls “there was this giant of a Liverpudlian buying our book and queuing to get it signed. It just didn't seem right even though I was made up him being there, I also felt unworthy. I said to him 'it should be you signing our books of your stories and we should be in the queue’ and ' he just laughed and said 'you never know, you never know.'

The last time SOS Acting Chairman Paul Rice spoke to Bobby in person was on a street off Puerta Del Sol in Madrid at 3am in the morning after the Atleti game - he was wearing a pair of novelty sunglasses with flashing lights all round them. It's safe to assume he'd had a good night.

Whether he was sitting in the Globe giving out tickets and stick with equal generosity, or haranguing late-comers in stations, airports or hotels, or belting out such classics as the Johnny Barnes song, he was always brilliant. Perhaps his finest hour was in the airport after Istanbul, as he kept thousands entertained with many a Kop classic, including teaching them the new version of ‘We Won It Five Times.’

He was a very generous man. Like a latter day Shankly, he was always inundated with ticket requests, and always felt badly he if could not come up with the tickets that had been asked for. To this day no-one knows for sure whether the club ticket office phoned him while he was on the train to the European Cup semi-final with Chelsea, and asked him if he had any spares!

At this time we ask that your thoughts go out to his wife, Mary, children Sheila, Lisa, Michael and Colin and his beloved grand-children.

If Bill Shankly was Liverpool’s greatest manager, and Kenny Dalglish Liverpool’s greatest player, then surely Bobby Wilcox was the club’s greatest supporter.

The end of an era.
Goodnight & God Bless Bob.


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