Mark Shanks was a defender who had been with Blackburn Rovers and Motherwell before signing for Ayr United in the summer of 1979.
He remained at the club for six years then went to play for a Cypriot club. As a manager he served Queen of the South, Albion Rovers and Kilwinning Rangers before taking the Ayr United job. A coaching team was installed comprising Robert Connor, Robert Reilly and Jim Dempsey and an immediate impact was made. Shanks struggled to put a side togther capable of regaining first division status but this was more to do with the dire financial position of the club who had to dispense with highly paid players to save the club from financial ruin. Nevertheless, there were signs that the club was on the way forward in a playing sense.
Hs tenure was a short one, lasting only six months, resigning from the club amidst a takeover bid for the club and the resignation of the club chariman Capperauld