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Book review: Billy Liddell The Legend that Carried the Kop (by RAWK Bookworm)


Billy Liddell The Legend that Carried the Kop
by John Keith
(foreword by Roger Hunt)

Hardcover 256 pages (November 2003)
Publisher: Robson Books
ISBN: 1861056311

I have to admit a personal interest here. I'm a huge Billy Liddell fan. I'll search libraries for anything on our legend. I'll photocopy old newspapers for reports on his matches for us. So when I heard John Keith was bringing out "Billy Liddell The Legend that Carried the Kop" I rushed down to the nearest Waterstone's and placed an advanced order.

After waiting for some considerable time for the release I picked up the book a couple of weeks back. I have to admit I find it disappointing. At 16.95 I was expecting a lot of new material, both stories and photographs but instead what I got was basically a revamp of the original works available, particularly Liddell's autobiography "My Soccer Story".

Keith portrays Liddell as a very modest man (as shown in the original autobiography) but I expected more from this new volume. It spends just as much time talking about life off the pitch and other players as Billy's original book. Each chapter is set out as per the original tome, with small sections added or shuffled about.

I was also hoping for something that comprehensively covered Billy's playing career at Anfield. Instead of this the book has a mix of his International career (full team line-ups of every Scotland international and the two Great Britain internationals in which Liddell appeared), off the field activities and no new material regarding his endeavours playing for LFC.

Considering Billy was a "Roy of the Rovers" type figure during his career, I can't help feeling what the fans would want to read about how he gained such an elevated status. Reds in my opinion, want more of what Billy was, a hero on the pitch.

This book fails to deliver what the Liddell fans of old want to read about. They want passage after passage telling of his exploits in games, which will bring all the memories flooding back from their youth. As expected the already well known old stories are there such as "The goal that never was" against City.

It would not have taken too much to delve into the Echo archives and rooted out some of his immortal performances. Perhaps I expected too much.

One day hopefully, someone will write a book worth reading about Billy. He played 534 games for Liverpool so it can't be too difficult to find a few new ones to write about and explore the essence of a player they renamed the club after. Liddellpool.

The book would be a good introduction for anyone who's reading about King Billy for the first time but it might bore some of the older fans to death.

Marks out of 10 : 4
Value for Money : Not in my opinion.

RAWK Bookworm 2003

I was so disappointed, I wrote me own  ;D

"Merry Christmas Mr Liddell"

pity it's too big for the boards  ;D ;D ;D

Seriously think it'd be interesting if you write one, Wooltonian!  :)


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