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

"I never had the pleasure of seeing Billy Liddell play, but had one very happy encounter with him that demonstrated what a considerate and sporting gentleman he was. It was, I believe, in 1965, when I competed in the 100 yards at The British Universities Championships, held in Liverpool and organised by Liverpool University. Billy Liddell was employed both by Liverpool FC, based at Anfield, and by Liverpool University.

I pulled a hamstring in the 100 yards, and was immediately approached by Billy, who asked if it would be helpful if he were to take me to Anfield for treatment. Liverpool FC were in the forefront of investment in medical solutions for their players and, at that time, were (I believe) one of only two UK institutions that had acquired a Faradism Machine. (The machine stimulated blood-flow and hence muscle regeneration by causing muscle contractions). Billy personally took me to Anfield, and his friendly and much-welcomed gesture significantly assisted in my recovery."

A letter from Andrew Ronay in The Telegraph

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