Billy Liddell, emperor of Merseyside

Here is the happiest Soccer story of the year, with sensational goodwill; bursting out all over. It happened at a Liverpool boardroom party yesterday when club chairman Tom Williams presented Billy Liddell, 35, and still the emperor of Merseyside Soccer with: A radiogram, a cocktail cabinet, and a china cabinet.

The idea (a wonderful idea) was to mark Liddell’s record of 430 appearances for the club – one which beats that created by goalkeeper Elisha Scott. To make sure that there could be no come-backs, Liverpool had previously obtained the permission of the Football League bosses to make the presentation. They got it willingly – and no modern player is more worthy of a little extra for his efforts.

Liddell joined Liverpool in 1937, a fifteen-year-old groomed into the game by the Scottish junior club, Lochgelly Violet. He progressed to star on the wing for Scotland, for his club – and willingly switched positions when he was asked to.

Liddell is still playing for Liverpool, leading their attack in a vital promotion season. And in all the years he has served them he has never touched by scandal, never asked for a transfer, never caused a moment’s trouble.

He is in fact, the kind of club man who keeps the game going. As chairman Williams puts it: “Billy is the perfect example to our young players. You meet his like once in a lifetime.”
Off the field, Billy Liddell is the ideal citizen – as you would expect. He was an RAF Pathfinder navigator during the war and is now a Sunday School teacher and treasurer. Everyone connected with Soccer will wish him well in his bid to beat the Merseyside record number of appearances – goalkeeper Ted Sagar’s 465 for Everton.

Copyright - Daily Mirror, 24-12-1957 - Transcribed by Kjell Hanssen

King Billy quote

"It was a struggle making ends meet and many were the sacrifices my parents made for their children. One of the earliest I recall was when I was about seven. I had asked for a pair of football boots for Christmas, being too young to realize what a hole that would make in the family exchequer. But the boots were in the pillow-case hanging at the foot of the bed when I woke up on Christmas morning. It was only in later years I appreciated the significance of that gift in relation to my father's earnings.

Football boots are little use without a football, and that my father could not afford. Luckily, a boy down the road received one. Never since have I broken in a pair of boots so speedily, I kept them on all day, playing morning and afternoon until darkness drove me home."

Billy Liddell on his upbringing in Scotland

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