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 don't know what was said to both teams at half time, but I would have liked to have been a fly on the wall in either dressing room. The second half exploded from the kick off and FOUR goals were scored in a FOUR minute period. In the 47th minute Murdoch squared the ball and Taylor had it under control, but fiddled so long with it that Liddell nipped in from behind him, took it right of his toe and hooked it into the net from 30 yds. This was a typical Liddell goal, get the ball, shoot and score, little fuss or ado and a fitting reward for his determination and persistence. The keeper just watched as it sailed over his head into the net. The look that Leyland gave to Taylor was priceless."

From Liverpool Echo's match report on Blackburn – Liverpool on 22nd February 1958

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