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

"On the 65th minute, Jackson laid the foundations of the goal with a cross field pass to A'Court. The winger ran in, squared the ball to Anderson, who looked up and found LIDDELL stood menacingly on the penalty spot ........, BANG, WHOOOOSH, I swear blind I didn't see the ball going in, all I saw was it rebounding off the goal stanchion, it came out at the speed of a bullet, what speed must have it been going on the way in? Until someone comes up with a way to measure the speed of shots, we can only call it "Liddell Pace". No one can hit a ball harder than Billy, its like comparing the speed of a spin bowler with that of a pace bowler. Fulham once again complained to the referee about the goal. We will never know why, it will probably go down as a complaint because Billy hit the ball too hard, or at least that's what the Kop will say."

From Liverpool Echo's match report on Liverpool – Fulham on 18th September 1954

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