Liddell, William Beveridge ('Billy')

Professional footballer, born on 10 January 1922 at Dunfermline, the son of a miner. His father, who died of silicosis, was determined that he should not go down the pit. He was signed by Liverpool AFC in 1938 and played for Scotland for the first of twenty-eight titles in 1942; but his career with Liverpool began only in 1946, after service in the RAF. A strong player, usually on the left wing, but later as centre forward, his record was 229 goals in 537 matches. Along with Stanley Matthews he was one of only two players representing Great Britain playing the rest of Europe in both 1947 and 1955. His Liverpool fans declared that 'two great things came out of Scotland, the Great North Road and Billy Liddell' and his team was popularly known as 'Liddellpool'.

He was able to train and work part-time as an accountant and was a JP from 1958. Despite his Presbyterian upbringing, he became a member of Court Hey Methodist Church, Liverpool and was both a local preacher and a Sunday School teacher and youth leader. A firm teetotaller, he declined to drink champaign from the trophy when Liverpool won the Cup in 1947. He died on 3 July 2001.

  • W.B. Liddell, My Soccer Story (1960)
  • Times, 5 July 2001