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Football: BILLY LIDDELL, 1922-2001- FAREWELL TO KING BILLY; Mr Liddellpool, the Anfield legend who cost just pounds 200.

Byline: David MADDOCK

BILLY LIDDELL, the original Anfield legend, has died at the age of 79.

The brilliant forward played more than 500 games for Liverpool, and wrote his name in the Anfield history books with the goalscoring exploits that made him a true idol of the fans.

Named "King Billy", the Scottish international signed for Liverpool as a 17-year-old in 1939, but had to wait until after the war to make his first-team debut in 1946.

Record

The old fashioned, direct left-winger made up for lost time in style though, enjoying a career that spanned 22 years, and setting a then-Liverpool record of 229 goals.

Even though he retired in 1960, Liddell is still revered at Anfield, and his enduring popularity was illustrated at the end of last season, when he was selected for an all-time Liverpool XI in a poll of the club's massive army of supporters.

Liddell is still third in the goalscoring charts at Liverpool, behind Ian Rush and Roger Hunt, and all for a fee of pounds 200 from Scottish junior side Lochgelly Violet.

He won 28 caps for his country, making his Scotland debut in a side that also included Bill Shankly, who was to become his manager at Liverpool in his final season with the club.

Liddell scored in that game, an international against England that is still regarded as the finest-ever contest between the old enemies, and Shankly provided the winner in an incredible 5-4 scoreline.

He also served with distinction in the RAF during the war, and was commissioned as an officer. He added an extra string to his bow by qualifying as an accountant.

Later in life Liddell would always deny that for long periods he carried Liverpool by himself, but he was so important to the Reds' cause that after arriving at Anfield the team soon became known as `Liddellpool'.

Talent

Despite his strength and talent on either flank, Liddell also turned out for Liverpool at centre-forward, and his heading ability - he was already famous for a venomous shot with either foot - also went down in Anfield folklore.

On and off the field, Liddell was an inspiration to all, and he carried out a vast amount of voluntary work for local boys' clubs.

After his retirement from the game in 1960 he became a magistrate, a lay preacher and then bursar of Liverpool University.

In a week when Joe Fagan also passed away, Liverpool fans are left mourning the death of two of their all-time heroes, two men who were proud to serve the club loyally, without the riches that today's stars enjoy.

Even though he never made any money from the game, Liddell will always be remembered by Liverpool fans as one of their all-time greats, a star bigger than any of today's rich and famous players.

LIDDELL

FACTFILE

Date of Birth: Jan 10, 1922

Birth Place: Dunfermline

Former club: Lochgelly

Transfer fee: pounds 200 (from Lochgelly, July 1938)

Liverpool record from

1939 to 1960

1st-team games: 537

1st-team goals: 229

Honours: League Championship 1946-7 International caps: 28 (Scotland)

CAPTION(S):

FAMILY MAN: Liddell with his wife and twin sons in 1950; HERO: Liddell was one of Liverpool's greatest players
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jul 4, 2001
Words:532
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