He was the father of the great Liverpool Football Club who, upon announcing his shock retirement in 1974, quickly regretted it.
So Bill Shankly did the unthinkable. He kept turning up to the team trainings.
It was not the thing to do, and unfair on his successor Bob Paisley. But it did show what Liverpool meant to him, and even why he had been so successful.
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The great coaches and managers don't do things by half. They live and breathe their jobs. They love to be with and lead their teams.
And if the world has changed a lot in the past 50 years, it has not changed to the point that – to steal a line from cricket icon Jeremy Coney – a captain leaves the ship when it's smashed on the rocks.
It would have been a serious surprise anyway to learn that Gary Stead, the New Zealand cricket coach, was taking leave during any series against mighty India.
But for him to take a week off when his team is in crisis is unfathomable.
Who cares if Stead and his bosses thought he might need a rest now – although why would they rigidly pre-determine something like that?
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The brilliant Indians are world sport rock stars, a team to measure your mettle against.
Surely any coach would move heaven and earth to be part of an ODI series against Virat Kohli's men.
Stead, to many of us, is even fighting for his job. If the Black Caps win without him, he will be in even worse shape.
And the public wants to see fight from the Black Caps, not flight.
This team is in disarray, after getting smashed in a three-test series across the ditch and collapsing in five T20s against the touring Indians. A season which promised so much, with the international schedule working in New Zealand's favour for once, has become a nightmare.
Stead is having a shocker. This is not the time for him to be walking the dog in Christchurch.
The leadership in New Zealand has become a little bit cool for its own good. Chief executive David White is an aloof figure, and the much-admired captain Kane Williamson – for all of his world-class abilities – has a remote personality.
The character which was once the hallmark of New Zealand cricket sides – provided by the likes of Martin Crowe, Richard Hadlee, Glenn Turner, John Bracewell, Dion Nash, Brendon McCullum and co – is struggling to live on.
Recent results suggest a side which is not reacting skilfully to pressure situations. Stead's prime time holiday says the same thing.
One significant media report reckoned Stead has lost the a portion of the dressing room, and conspiracy theories will abound.
NZ Herald columnist Dylan Cleaver, with excellent cricket sources, wrote last month: "There is a creeping belief that Cantabrians have an outsized influence over the Black Caps, concerns that have only increased after recent decisions.
"When players start talking about it among themselves – and they are – then perception equals reality."
One thing is certain: Stead has now lost a large portion of the public. Some stories have a life force of their own, and this one about his holiday does.
If Stead or anyone else in the New Zealand cricket team is feeling a little tired or overwhelmed as they contemplate another contest with a fabulous Indian side, they should try thinking about fellow citizens who are struggling to make ends meet on a minimum wage in a mundane job.
I sometimes feel that New Zealand sport, particularly rugby, is now run for the sport's convenience, that we are always being asked to understand their positions.
Infamy calls, although a quick u-turn might save Stead.
He could praise the public and people like Coney for their passionate views on his pre-planned holiday, admit he's read the situation wrong, and get back to work.
KEEPING UP WITH THE BARRETTS
This must be the holiday season. While Stead is off to Christchurch for a bit of R and R, All Black genius Beauden Barrett is flaunting his world tour while flailing Super Rugby kicks off without him.
Other top All Blacks are on extended breaks, and the Super Rugby seasons begin with test players on restricted game time which sees them subbed off during matches
Rugby needs to act more desperately in trying to stop the bastardisation of its professional competitions.