Liverpool hero would be fourth highest appearance holder and second-top goal scorer EVER, if his wartime goals and games were counted 🔴 🏴
On the 10th of January, Billy Liddell would have been celebrating his 100th birthday and as the countdown to the milestone day edges closer – here’s an excerpt from: Liddell at One Hundred.
Billy Liddell is one of the greatest players to ever wear the red shirt of Liverpool and as his 100th birthday edges ever closer, we are assessing his career at Anfield.
Only seven players have a bench in their honour, outside our famous stadium: Elisha Scott, Bob Paisley, Bill Shankly, Kenny Dalglish, John Barnes, Steven Gerrard and Billy Liddell.
This shows how appreciated he is by the club and the mercurial talent that he possessed.
However, many fans of a younger generation may not know who he is and why he is so fondly remembered.
As the celebration for his 100th birthday looms closer, we will be looking at some of the reasons that it should be celebrated and marked by as many supporters as possible.
One such reason is just purely for his numbers; goals and appearances aplenty and it’s important to remember that this was an era that did not track assists - otherwise he’d be right up there on that list too.
Only Gordon Hodgson (241), Roger Hunt (285) and Ian Rush (346) are ahead of the great Scot on the goal scoring lists. On appearances Billy sits 12th.
We he retired from Liverpool, after 23 years with the club, he stood alone as the man with most goals (228) and most appearances (534) but his tally could have been much higher.
Had it not been for the war, the Dunfermline-born attacker would have been able to record many more goals and games for Liverpool.
This is a fact that is covered in the book celebrating this century milestone, as it mentions:
‘If his wartime statistics for Liverpool alone are added to his tally, he would have 154 more matches and 83 extra goals, which would make him the fourth-top on appearances and second-top goalscorer.
‘The fact he still had time to fight in a war and represent other teams within these statistics only suggests that he would have managed more matches and goals, finding himself even higher in the charts.
‘All this while not training full-time due to his job as an accountant.
‘These accolades mean that every time a player closes in or surpasses Billy’s numbers, his name will return to the headlines and significance again.
‘With player loyalty seemingly decreasing with each year that passes, it seems likely that Billy will remain high on the list and thus his legacy will increase as it becomes progressively clear how significant and rare his achievements are.’
So, ignoring his games for clubs like Dunfermline Athletic, Hearts, Chelsea, Linfield, Cambridge Town and Toronto Scottish during the war, just adding the Liverpool goals and appearances onto his tally would put him higher up the leader boards.
Working full-time, training part-time and no access to the glut of European and domestic cup games available today.
His numbers are already staggering but the fact they could and probably should be higher just further shows how great he was.
All quotes obtained first hand by the author. Billy Liddell at One Hundred is available here.
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