Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Go Billy Liddel Steaming Down The Middle.

I grew up with stories of footballing legends.

Roy of the Rovers was staple diet.
 You went with it, collecting football cards could swallow up all your earnings. Those hard earned pennies from minding the cars that parked down your road, every Saturday home game. It was a perk of living so close to Anfield.
The cars did not actually need minding, but it was a way of developing a interaction with people.
 It instilled inside you, from an early age, that if you put some time in, and you were polite,and you had a go, you could earn some money.
You would chase towards a car before your mate got there “Mind your car Sir” we always got a smile.
I remember one day a massive chrome encrusted Mercedes the likes of which you never saw on the terraced streets of Anfield parked down our street.
 I had to patiently wait till after the match had finished, but I got a shilling, the usual rate was a couple of pennies or maybe a tanner.
The takings always went up when we won the match.
 Saturday afternoons would be spent taking the results on Final Score which usually came up after the wrestling with Mick McManus and co, including  the strangely named Kendo Nagasaki. I always remember knowing Giant Haystacks, he was a bouncer on the Robin Hood camp disco in Prestatyn where you would be dragged for a holiday.
Although we didn't have a TV, until 1966 when a special effort was made because of  the World Cup.
 Those footie cards always seemed to have lots of swaps, you could just not get Roger Hunt.
I had loads of Tommy Smiths and Tommy Lawrence's but Roger Hunt was gold dust.

Last week I lingered in some family archives that I had been wanting to tidy up for over a decade and I come across a Liverpool Echo, and it was old.

7th November 1957.

What was strange was that the front page was in colour, and emblazoned upon that front page was a hero of a generation before mine....Billy Liddel.

I thought Billy Liddle was a giant, as that's how he was always talked about.
The greatest goalscorer ever they said, and there it was in black and white and red all over, the statistics.
 It must have been my grandfathers, who I never knew. My Grandmother will have kept it. She would often sing out in chorus as if involuntarily Go Billy Liddel, steaming down the middle.
He was a hero. They immortalised him in pubs and factories all over the city. A working class hero was something to be.
Even Evertonian's respected him in the same way as we, with, the Dixie Dean.History is not only about posh art, its about the everyday.
This is the week that Liverpool go seven points clear and although Man City have a few games in hand the next match, the Chelsea match is pivotal we could win the league. Alex Ferguson said the first thing he wanted to do was knock Liverpool off their perch. He must be sick as a parrot this week when ex Everton manager, David Moyes is sacked...the chosen one, by him.
It took 15 years for Moyes to get Everton in the Champions League, but he  has finally done it.
By resigning as Everton manager.
Chelsea have a new cat now, that's what they called their goalie in the 60's.
The Cat. I had a couple of footie cards of Peter Bonetti, The Cat, and a few Peter Osgood's.
You had to eat so much plastic tasting chewing gum and all you get is  a load of Martin Chivers.
 They must have sent all the Roger Hunts to London and sent the London strikers up here.
The Kop hero now of course is Suarez, who hasn't always done the right thing but he may be winning round most of his critics.

I read the paper as if it was the Whizzer, or whatever comic it was that that Roy of the Rovers always dribbled past one, then another , then he would dummy the goalkeeper and yeeeess, he scores.
I read on, and was alarmingly reminded that the paper I was reading, dated 1957 was a year that Liverpool were in the second division.
Then the great Bill Shankly arrived.
I am to have it framed, its history.

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