No. 66 – The Day Paisley and Liddell made their League Debuts
The long awaited return of the football league took place in September 1946 after the football authorities called a halt to the professional leagues due to World War Two.
Liverpool began the 1946/47 season with a 1-0 win over Sheffield United but this was followed by a 1-0 defeat to Middlesbrough when an unfortunate Laurie Hughes own goal sealed the victory for Middlesbrough.
Liverpools third game of the season on the 7th September 1946 saw Chelsea travel to Anfield in what became one of the most memorable league games ever witnessed at Anfield. Liverpool won a fascinating match 7-4.
However, unknown at the time, two players who would become two of Liverpools greatest legends to ever grace the Anfield turf made their official League debuts that day. Bob Paisley and Billy Liddell both lined up for the Reds after signing professional terms with Liverpool seven years previous. Billy Liddell had already featured in well over 150 games for Liverpool scoring 82 goals in the regional divisions of wartime football but this season the official Football League had returned after World War Two. Both players had been waiting years to make their official League debuts for Liverpool….
Billy Liddell immediately made a big impression scoring in the second minute, when he scored directly from a corner after a mistake by the Chelsea goalkeeper. Liverpool were 4-0 up at the half time interval after a brace from Billy Jones and a Willie Fagan goal just before half time.
Legendary Jack Balmer then scored almost immediately after the restart on 47 minutes. Two minutes later Billy Liddell added his second goal of the game. Chelsea then made a late comeback scoring three goals in just under 20 minutes but a late Willie Fagan goal secured a memorable 7-4 win for the Reds.
Billy Liddell and Bob Paisley were instrumental in Liverpool winning the 1st Divison Championship that season. Bob Paisley went onto be become one of the most successful managers in football with Liverpool while Billy Liddell who later became known as ‘Liddellpool’ topped Liverpool goalscoring charts in eight seasons, Billy played 495 first team games for Liverpool between 1946 and 1961 scoring 216 times ‘“ an incredible record!
Liverpools Team :
Charlie Ashcroft, Jim Harley, Bernard Ramsden, Phil Taylor, Laurie Hughes, Bob Paisley, Berry Nieuwenhuys, Jack Balmer, Bill Jones, Willie Fagan, Billy Liddell.
Billy Liddell (2), (50)
Bill Jones (24), (30)
Willie Fagan (44), (87)
Jack Balmer (47)