Billy and Barnes at Anfield

It was a momentous occasion when Billy Liddell, rated by many older supporters as the very best player in the history of Liverpool, met the club's talisman, John Barnes, in the early 90's, at Anfield.

"John is a great winger, but his style is a lot different to mine in my day," Liddell told Liverpool's match programme from which these legendary images are. "I was a natural right-footer playing on the left wing and always had a good view of the goal when I cut inside. John is a natural left-sided player and very clever with it."

Both were Liverpool's key player at the height of their powers. Billy Liddell featured on the left wing until Liverpool were relegated in 1954 and Alan A'Court took over the left-wing position. Liddell was moved up front and scored 121 goals in 189 second division games in the following five seasons. Barnes was in mesmerising form as Liverpool annihilated the First Division in 1987/88 and played up front with Ian Rush when he won his second championship in the 1989/90 season. Barnes contributed 28 goals in 45 games when Liverpool won their eighteenth title and was second-highest scorer in the League with 22 goals, two behind Gary Lineker. In 1992 Barnes was transformed into a central midfielder following a serious hamstring injury. Billy Liddell and John Barnes played a total of 941 games and scored 336 goals for Liverpool in 1946-1960 and 1987-1997 so this was a historic meeting of two giants in the history of the club!

Liddell shakes hands with Phil Boersma,
former Liverpool striker and Graeme Souness' assistant at the time.

Copyright - LFChistory.net - Images from Liverpool match programme

King Billy quote

"Sir William Liddell - to bestow upon him a title he more than earned - WAS Liverpool Football Club. He was its spirit. He was also its integrity, its heart and its passion. To Reds such as my mother and father and others of the pre-Bill Shankly generation he represented a ticket to some sort of footballing respectability. The "Liddellpool" tag the club was awarded was no hype or coincidence. It was fact.

I suppose it was the reverence for him that stood out above everything else. The sheer universal respect for this truly unassuming man. Both Red and Blue alike had a mutual awe of Billy Liddell that I have only ever encountered for two other people. One was the incredible William Ralph Dean and the other was Bill Shankly himself. I think that says everything about the man."

Al

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