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

"My early days were actually spent in Buckingham street, Everton, in a flat over a coal yard. Everton! What a thought. The boy Smith was happy to get an early transfer out of that district at the age of five. We moved to 9 Lambet Road. Once again, it was only a stone’s throw from the two football stadiums. You could certainly hear every roar and chant in my house as the Kop army paid homage to one super hero in particular, an individual who I idolised and who I would eventually have the honour and privilege to call a teammate. The legendary Billy Liddell. I was a Catholic. Who idolised King Billy Liddell. But the religion was football and the only thing that mattered was supporting your team through thick and thin."

Tommy Smith

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