Arguably the most influential Liverpool player of the 1940s and 1950s, Billy Liddell was a one-club man, playing over 500 games and scoring over 200 goals. In an era before Bill Shankly transformed the Anfield club, they were even known as 'Liddellpool'
The Scot was hugely versatile: he played in every outfield position but is best known as a marauding winger (usually on the left) with a wicked shot in either foot. The archetypal “Boy’s Own” hero was training as an accountant when he signed for Liverpool as an amateur in 1938. He continued to play for Liverpool during and after the war, finally retiring in 1961, narrowly missing out on the peak glory years brought to the club under Shankly.
The one major title he won with Liverpool was the Division One Championship in 1946-47, but his loyalty to his club also meant he stayed during the club's seasons in Division Two during the 1950s, despite big-money offers to play overseas. The goals scored by Liddell in 1954-55 arguably stopped the further decline of a club struggling to meet the expectations of a loyal fanbase.
Billy was never booked in his long career despite his tenacious approach to the game. Made captain in 1955, Liddell's calm temperament was perhaps best demonstrated when, with Liverpool losing 2-1 at home to Manchester City in an FA Cup game, the Scot rifled a shot into the Kop-end goal from outside the area. As the crowd celebrated and prepared for extra-time, the referee signalled he had whistled for full time before the shot was struck: Liddell led the team from the pitch without complaint.
Bill Shankly took over the club late in 1959 and, while respecting the great esteem the fans and players had for Liddell, the elder statesman of the team saw his place increasingly given to the teenage Ian Callaghan. The 1960-61 season was to be Liddell's last, with Shankly players like Ian St. John and Roger Hunt taking over the goalscoring mantle. However Liddell's legacy as the brightest light during the team's darkest days was assured: only Ian Rush, Roger Hunt and pre-war player Gordon Hodgson scored more than Liddell.
While still a player he was a Justice of the Peace and after his retirement he worked as an assistant secretary & bursar at Liverpool University.
He was awarded 29 caps for Scotland, excluding wartime internationals, scoring 8 goals.
A heartfelt speech from Billy Liddell's grandsons, accepting the #NFMHallOfFame award on behalf of the family. #LFC… pic.twitter.com/mrtoPVEvZS
— Nat. Football Museum (@FootballMuseum) October 19, 2016
Honours: 1 Division One Championship
Caps: 29 (Scotland), 8 goals