"Liverpool have made three wartime discoveries, players young enough to make the grade once normal times are reached again. This was proved at Anfield yesterday in a Western Regional game packing many thrills and much good football.
The star performer was Liddell, a wing forward, not yet 18. Liddell was secured from Lochgelly Violet, a Dunfermilne junior club, and played at outside-left to give a most promising display, his ball control and sense of positioning being features."
Billy scored his debut goal after only two minutes, the pick of the bunch being Matt Busby's goal (later of Man Utd fame) where he beat four men, passed to Leadbetter, received the ball again, diving headlong to place the ball into the far corner.
Billy went on to play further 15 games, scoring a total of 9 goals in the 1939-40 season. Before he made his Football League debut after World War II on 7th September 1946 he had already made 152 appearances in wartime football for Liverpool where he scored 82 goals.
Certainly if the Second World War hadn't intervened Liddell wouldn't be "only" 11th on Liverpool's list of players who have made most appearances. He could have gone as far as 2nd place, above Ray Clemence and Emlyn Hughes with 665 appearances. But who really knows? He could have got seriously injured, even though it's difficult to imagine such a strong man being vulnerable to injuries. Anyway a food for thought.
(Click on the match report for a bigger image)
"I don't know what was said to both teams at half time, but I would have liked to have been a fly on the wall in either dressing room. The second half exploded from the kick off and FOUR goals were scored in a FOUR minute period. In the 47th minute Murdoch squared the ball and Taylor had it under control, but fiddled so long with it that Liddell nipped in from behind him, took it right of his toe and hooked it into the net from 30 yds. This was a typical Liddell goal, get the ball, shoot and score, little fuss or ado and a fitting reward for his determination and persistence. The keeper just watched as it sailed over his head into the net. The look that Leyland gave to Taylor was priceless."
From Liverpool Echo's match report on Blackburn – Liverpool on 22nd February 1958