Today marks the day that Billy Liddell would have been celebrating his 100th birthday and as the countdown to one of our greatest ever player’s milestone reaches its close – here’s an excerpt from the book written to mark the event: Liddell at One Hundred.
Liverpool supporters are forever labelled as one of the greatest in world football, if not the best and the early days of our singing culture is a really interesting period of the club’s history.
What was the first chant and how did singing start on the terraces? One of the first ‘full-length’ chants (not just singing the name of a player) is accredited to the 1946/47 league winning campaign.
READ MORE: The ‘unique statistic’ held by Liverpool legend Billy Liddell and British great Stanley Matthews
‘The words are sung to the tune of ‘When Uncle Joe Plays the Rag on His Old Banjo’, a song made famous in the US in 1912.
‘The re-release by Dick Thomas in 1945 brought it back into popular culture, so it was adapted by the Liverpool fans soon after their 1947 title success.
‘Although not a song necessarily sung by an entire swaying Kop, it was an early example of the singing culture about to sweep Liverpool.
‘Liddell’s prominence in the tune, illustrates his status. Billy was the man, he was Liverpool, he was Liddellpool.
‘He took the mantle from the great Northern Irishman Elisha Scott, the man who many attribute with having the first song from the Kop as the supporters would roar ‘Lisha! Lisha!’ Billy too was honoured to have this.’
You may need to visit the YouTube link above or watch the video via the tweet below if you want to sing along, but the words are:
‘After the ball was centred, after the whistle blew.
Liddell got excited, up the wing he flew.
He crossed the ball to Stubbins; Stubbins scored a goal,
And left the poor old goalie, on his old banjo.
They laid him on a stretcher, laid him on a bed.
Rubbed his belly with cast-iron jelly, this is what they said.
Liverpool are top of the League,
holding up the Cup!’
It’s certainly no Si Senior but it shows just how much fan culture has changed in the last three-quarters of a century, just imagine if we could hear it on the Kop once more!
All quotes obtained first hand by the author. Billy Liddell at One Hundred is available here.
You can listen to the song which has been recreated by The Ragamuffins and shared here:
🚨 ONE WEEK TO GO 🚨
Still time to get your pre-orders in for Liddell at One Hundred! You can get signed copies and pre-order bundles here:https://t.co/P2gylJFvy3 pic.twitter.com/A3K4J0tZ4M
— Peter Kenny Jones (@PeterKennyJones) November 1, 2021
Liverpool hero would be fourth highest appearance holder and second-top goal scorer EVER, if his wartime goals and games were counted