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Billy wins his only League title in 1947

Popular Chairman Billy McConnell with the 1947 League title.
McConnell passed away only two months later.

Billy Liddell would have deserved a whole host of medals from his wonderful career at Liverpool. He was part of the Liverpool team that lost to Arsenal in the 1950 FA Cup final and even when Liverpool were relegated to 2nd division he was faithful to the Reds. Billy won his only championship with Liverpool in quite unusual circumstances after a spectacular finish to the 1946-47 season.

Billy remembers his only major medal at Liverpool:

"Owing to the severe weather causing many postponements, plus the fact there was a Government ban on mid-week games, the season was extended. Actually it went on until June 14, on which day we played the Liverpool Senior Cup Final with Everton at Anfield, but we completed our League fixtures on May 31. Our team spirit during those last few weeks was as good as anything I had so far experienced. There could have been no happier atmosphere anywhere. We took fifteen points from the last sixteen at stake, the only one dropped being a draw with Brentford in London.

Before Liverpool's final league game of the season, Manchester United, Stoke and Wolves had the chance to win the league title along with Liverpool. Fate would have it Liverpool played Wolves at Molineux on 31st May:

"The day was more suitable for cricket than football. It was extremely hot, with the thermometer somewhere in the eighties, and I remember remarking to Albert Stubbins about the vast number of spectators in short-sleeves or summer frocks. We were the first to score when Jackie Balmer steered one into the net and when Albert Stubbins got a second we thought the game was safely "in the bag". Wolves, however were never a team to give up without a struggle. Cullis was a wonderful inspiration, urging his players on and making them fight as though their lives depended on it. Jimmy Dunn reduced the lead, but that was all Wolves could achieve, largely because our defence gave one of the finest exhibitions seen at Molineux for many a long day.

It was ironic that the man who did most to keep Wolves from the draw, which would, as things turned out, have given them the championship, was their former goalkeeper Sidlow. Cyril made save after save when it seemed certain that he must be beaten. We were a happy party returning from Wolverhampton, but still had to wait a forthnight before knowing whether we were champions. Stoke had one game to play, against Sheffield United at Bramall Lane, which could not take place until June 14."

 

Willie Fagan, Albert Stubbins and Billy with their medals presented to them prior to a game against Stoke at Anfield on 3 March 1948 by William C. Cuff, President of the Football League.

"Stoke had to beat the Blades to displace us from leading position. The day this game at Sheffield took place we met Everton in the final of the Liverpool Senior Cup at Anfield, starting fifteen minutes after the Sheffield match. Though our minds were more on what was taking place at Bramall Lane than at Anfield, we defeated Everton 2-1. But the last ten minutes were a mere formality, for the news had been given over the loud-speakers that Stoke had been defeated and the title was ours. The crowd didn't care two straws what happened after that. All they wanted was the final whistle, so they could come swarming over the ground from the Kop and Kemlyn Road and carry us off the field. It was a scene of amazing enthusiasm."

Albert Stubbins scored Liverpool's second goal:

"I had a word with Bob and told him if he received the ball in a deep midfield position, to knock it straight down the middle for me to chase. The first opportunity he got, he did just that and it took Wolves by surprise. I’d already set off and I left Stan Cullis and Billy Wright trailing in my wake. As I closed in on goal the keeper Bert Williams came rushing off his line, but I just managed to get my toe to the ball and poke it past him. We were already leading 1-0 and that goal put us in the driving seat."

Copyright - LFChistory.net - quotes from Billy Liddell's autobiography.


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