A family portrait of a Liverpool icon

Culture: August 20, 2021

Billy Liddell at 100: A Family Portrait of a Liverpool Icon is a debut book by football historian and writer, Peter Kenny Jones. The book tells the story of the life of former Liverpool and Scotland forward, Billy Liddell and is told by those who knew him best.

The Dunfermline born Liddell moved to Liverpool as a sixteen-year-old and spent his entire career with the reds. After 22 years at Anfield, he remains the 4th top goal scorer and the oldest player to ever score for the club. Joining in 1938 meant that a large part of his career was affected and removed because of World War Two. However, had his Liverpool wartime appearances counted toward his official goals and games tally, he would sit 4th on appearances and 2nd on goals for Liverpool today. It is also important to note that there were no opportunities for European or League Cup games which would have provided Billy with more games and goals throughout his Anfield career.

 

 

On the international front, Billy stands alongside Stanley Matthews as the two people who have represented a combined Great Britain side on more than one occasion. Testament to his pedigree and longevity within the game, he represented the side in 1947 and 1955. There have been other examples of a Great Britain football team, however these two games are the only example of a combined squad selected of the best British players available at time of selection. He represented Scotland on 29 occasions where winning goals against England stand out amongst a successful Scotland career. The refusal of Scotland to participate in the 1950 World Cup, despite qualification, and the bizarre decision to not take a full squad for the 1954 World Cup robbed Liddell of an international tournament that he deserved.

 

 

To ensure a full family portrait has been painted, it was important to speak to as many people that knew Billy as possible. By speaking to family members, including his sister and twin sons, friends, and supporters, stories of Billy off the pitch have been shared which have never been mentioned before. As well as the opportunity to speak to a host of ex-Liverpool players including Jamie Carragher, Ian Callaghan and Alan Hansen who have provided a foreword for the book too.

Billy is undoubtedly one of the greatest players to ever play for Liverpool, fans old enough to have witnessed him play rank his alongside or higher than Kenny Dalglish and Steven Gerrard. He was so important for his club that the team became known as Liddellpool, he was so loyal to the club that he enjoyed his entire career with Liverpool. He would have been 100 in January and this book is released to celebrate his life and legacy and hopefully will ensure that a new crowd of people can learn his story and importance to the game.

 

 

Billy Liddell at 100: A Family Portrait of a Liverpool Icon is released on the 8 November and is available for pre-order now. You can purchase on all major retailers (Amazon, Waterstones, WH Smith etc.) and it can also be pre-ordered directly through the author which is the cheapest place to order and also comes alongside some pre-order bundles. The best way to get the book is to check out @PeterKennyJones on twitter or via his website.

 

 

 

 

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