Spirit Of Shankly was created out of a spontaneous mass meeting in The Sandon of around 350 Liverpool supporters and representatives of LFC fanzines and websites to discuss the ongoing ownership crisis at the end of January.
The meeting was chaired by Paul Rice and on the panel were Dave Usher, Alan Kayll, Andy Heaton, Neil Atkinson and Nicky Allt. In the meeting the ownership crisis was the central point of discussion but issues going beyond the owners were raised. Nicky led the calls for an organisation which could bring Liverpool supporters together and speak out on their behalf on every issue and the panel and audience took up that refrain.
This unique organisation was named Sons Of Shankly. In the excitement at the end of the meeting, Nicky Allt was voted chair, Neil Atkinson spokesperson and Andy Heaton, Giulio Canetti and Alan Kayll were also charged with responsibility to get the organisation moving. Many more attended the first Management Committee meeting to get involved with the movement.
This led to a second meeting in February, in The Olympia Theatre, chaired by Nicky Allt and attended by about 750 where James McKenna and Neil Atkinson were both speakers and a set of aims for SOS was proposed and accepted by those who attended this meeting. Peter Furmedge and Andy Williams set to work on a unique constitution for a unique organisation and the name was changed from Sons Of Shankly to Spirit Of Shankly.
There was a second Olympia meeting in March which led to a spontaneous protest in the Anfield’s main stand car park. Nicky Allt stood down as chair due to work reasons and Neil Atkinson took over.