AS FIRST meetings go with a Scottish football legend, it wasn't a great start: "Jesus Christ son, where have you been?"

Not many teenagers hoping to impress Liverpool boss Bill Shankly would keep him waiting for two hours – but that's what Bernard Montgomery Maclaren did.

Thankfully, 'Monty' lived to tell some tales of the man who, along with Jock Stein, Sir Matt Busby and now Sir Alex Ferguson, is considered one of the greatest Scottish football managers.

He's stayed in Dunfermline now for decades but in 1962, he was an 18-year-old goalkeeper heading south from his hometown of Auchterarder for a trial with the Reds.

He remembered: "Bill Shankly was waiting at the train station in Lime Street for me and the train was two hours late.

"It's not like now, it was a steam train that I got on at Gleneagles, changing at Preston, and it took about six or seven hours.

"I didn't know what he looked like but he had obviously seen a pic of me and the first thing he said was: 'Jesus Christ son, where have you been?'

"I got in his car and he drove into Liverpool, I saw all the lights and everything and thought: 'What have I come to?'"

Monty continued: "He used to bring down 10, maybe more, apprentices at a time from Scotland.

"For the two weeks I was on trial, I got £30 a week and free digs. He also arranged for me to go to a tailor, for cavalry twill trousers and a jacket.

"He must've thought I looked like a scarecrow or something!"

It didn't turn out to be a glove affair for Monty at Anfield but he still spent two years at one of English football's greatest clubs and Shankly left a huge impression on him.

The Scot became manager in 1959 when Liverpool were in the second division and announced his retirement unexpectedly in 1974, having taken the club back to the summit of the domestic game and laid the foundations for future dominance in Europe.

Monty said: "You saw what he did for the club, he transformed Liverpool.

"I never knew him outside of football but if you asked any of his players, they'd tell you he was the greatest.

"What a man. I liked him, I really did. He wasn't a coach, Bob Paisley was the coach, Shanks was a motivator.

"He used to say: 'When you pull that red shirt on your back, you're playing for Liverpool'.

"He made you feel 10 feet tall."

He continued: "He was an amazing man. Shanks didn't drink or smoke, he took herbal tea, and he didn't allow smoking in the club at all.

"Tommy Lawrence used to smoke like a chimney but he had mints all over him so the boss never found out.

"He hated going abroad, he thought foreign teams were full of cheats and liars!

"He never used to leave the training ground and he didn't like people that were injured either, he called them 'malingerers'.

"I remember one of the lads had hurt his leg and it was in plaster. He was in the treatment room and Shankly shouted: 'Take that man out of here, he's going to contaminate the place!'"

A famously competitive streak was also in evidence.

Monty chuckled: "I played with Chris Lawler, he was the quietest man and went on to star for the first team.

"At the end of training, we used to play three-a-sides before going back to Anfield for dinner.

"Shankly had to be on the winning team and he wouldn't go until he was.

"Everyone was waiting, we were playing and just thinking, 'Let him score'. We didn't have proper goals down and he hit one that he claimed had gone in.

"He asked Chris, who was on his team, but he said: 'Sorry boss, I think that's just gone wide'.

"Shankly told him 'You never say anything and when you do it's a bloody lie!'"