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Willie Bell

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Position Left back
Born 03 Sep 1937, Johnstone (Scotland)
Height 177 cm
Weight 73 kg
International Caps Scotland: 2 full

Club From To Apps Goals Sold for
Queen's Park 01 Jun 1957 01 Jul 1960     £0
Leeds United 01 Jul 1960 21 Sep 1967 260 18 £45000
Leicester City 21 Sep 1967 01 Jul 1969 49 0 £0
Brighton and Hove Albion 01 Jul 1969 01 Jun 1970 44 1  

Leeds Career League FA Cup League Cup Europe Other
Season Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
1960 - 1961 51 0  0  0  0 
1961 - 1962 231 2  3  0  0 
1962 - 1963 322 3  1  0  0 
1963 - 1964 352 3  31 0  0 
1964 - 1965 354 7  2  0  0 
1965 - 1966 332 2  1  91 0 
1966 - 1967 383 71 4  8  0 
1967 - 1968 3  0  1  0  0 
Total 20415 241 151 171 0 

Jabba's Comments

Don Revie switched Willie Bell from his original midfield position to left back to replace Grenville Hair, and he became a key part of the team that dragged Leeds from the precipice of Division 3 to the heights of Division 1. After moving on from Leeds, he had brief spells at Leicester and Brighton before taking up a coaching post with his former Leeds colleague Freddie Goodwin at Birmingham. He became manager at St Andrews for two years in the mid 1970s, followed that up with a spell in the hot seat at Lincoln, before joining a religious group in the USA.

Andrew says: Willie Bell moved to the USA from Lincoln and coached at a Baptist University until 2001. His teams were considered very strong by American university standards. He now resides in Yorkshire.

Gavin M Hawdon says: The great Pele was alleged, by Eddie Gray, to have given Willie Bell the 'Glasgow Kiss' in an off the ball incident in a 1960's international between Brazil & Scotland! And you thought Leeds United were dirty! (jabba says - see Willie's comments below for a correction on this).

Gerry says: I met Willie once or twice. He is a real gentleman, one of the few sincere guys in the game. He comes across as being of very strong character, a gentle giant, and a deeply religious man.

Adrian Wickens says: I met the great John Charles in a Derby hospitality box a few years ago and he told me Willie Bell was a real gent. A Brighton supporter.

Todd Tuttle says: I had the distinct priviledge to be coached by Willie Bell when I attended Liberty University in Virginia during the early eighties. He is a great coach and a great man. One story that I remember quite vividly happened well into my first season with the team. Coach Bell never let on to us much about his great football past. He is a very humble man and never liked to brag. I walked into his office one day and noticed a team photo on his wall. I mentioned that it was interesting that two of the players standing next to Coach Bell in the photo looked like the great Trevor Francis and Peter Shilton, thinking, of course, that it couldn't be them. He said, "they are son. I coached Trevor since he was a lad." Needless to say, I listened a little more carefully to what Coach Bell had to say after that :~)

Jeff Grubbs, Elder says: You might find it interesting that Willie (Bill to us who know him from his US Church family, Rivermont Presbyterian in Lynchburg, VA)and his wife Mary have had a Christian Prison ministry in England for a number of years called "With The Walls". He has been able to connect with many young men in prison through his football past and he and Mary are considered to be "parents" to many who have been abandoned by their real ones. Their ministry has grown substantially and has even moved into some adult facilities, I believe.

Vic Uotinen says: Our son attended a summer football camp in Virginia in the mid 1980's where Willie Bell was the director. My wife and I were immensely pleased to have our son instructed by a football star of Coach Bell's caliber, and were pleased that our son later went on to make the All Conference Team during the years he played for his school. But we were even more pleased by the stress Coach Bell placed on character development. He was a great example and a role model for our son. I later had the privilege of getting to know Coach Bell personally, and have admired greatly the way he and Mary have in recent years devoted themselves to giving hope to young men and women who have gone astray, through their organization "Within the Walls".

billy bell says: my name is billy bell my dad grew up in paisley (sco) with his cousin w Bell i now live on south coast and support brighton . i also have just back from goergia my dad willie bell should introduce me to my cousin he sounds brill not sure about church though we are non believer st,mirren boys

Bradley Styles says: I had the honour of playing under "Coach" Bell's tutelage whilst at Liberty University in the early 1990s. In addition to being a football coach of the highest calibre, he was also a very wise and compassionate man. His left foot was still sublime years after he stopped playing professionally and his experience was surpassed by few. His stories about Norman "Bite yer legs" Hunter still make me laugh, as does the memory of him saying (often)"Ye canna do that son" (accompanied by a smile) each time a misdemeanour occured on the pitch! It was a pleasure playing under Coach Bell and I wish him all the best in the future with his prison work, together with Mary.

billy says: I am about to take on the task of steering South Langney FC to eastbourne m.f.i league champions. WE are wearing black and white stripes and will take nae s**te. Can Will gee us advise.

Bill (Willie) Bell says: The story about Pele is untrue. I found him to be a gentleman both on and off the field. His skill on the field was enviable, hence he had no need to resort to such tactics. Billy Bremner performed a ruthless tackle on Pele, who in turn blamed his own player for not serving the ball directly to his feet. He did not converse with Billy at all. Thanks to all the folks who have written me notes. Hope all you university grads are well and happy and using your degrees to the full. Our years together were great. I am now enjoying my ministry to the young men in prisons throughout the United Kingdom. Mary and I love what God has called us to.

Adrian and Eilona Skillcorn say: We have had the pleasure of working as volunteers with Bill and Mary Bells` ministry of "Within the Walls". They are so dedicated to taking the love of Christ behind prison walls and becoming surrogate "Mum and Dad" to the men in prison. Many of these men have not known what it is to have had a father figure and Bill, for the time they are in there, becomes that person. He understands that not every prisoner is genuine or will continue in faith once he goes out side BUT he treats all and everyone with respect and shows the love of Christ. The men are really fond of them both and the weekly meetings are the highlight of many prisoners`week. Prisoners are street wise and they can tell a phoney at fifty paces....there is nothing phoney about Bill and Mary Bell and their prison ministry! Long may they continue to change lives...."Within the Walls"

Tony Cooper says: Billy Bell's dad, Archie, and his uncle John, were my gran's cousins. I remember being at Hampden Park to watch Scotland draw with Brazil, a game in which Billy linked up so well with his clubmate Billy Bremner. Billy's deep faith in Jesus is a family trait, therefore, for me, it came as no surprise that Billy has dedicated his life to serving God. My gran always spoke highly of Billy's modesty and humility, and uncle John Bell, who lived in Greenock, was immensely proud of his footballing nephew. PS Billy's brother Denis Bell was a drummer with Gerry Rafferty some years before Gerry became world famous.

billy bell says: Tony,after consulting my old man I feel confident enough to say my grandad Dennis Bell,uncle Archie aunt Anna in Weymouth were indeed catholics who originated from the Greenock area but where not strong church folk. I was told that 'big Billy Bell' found religion. I respect peoples faith but I object to Bells being religous because of a 'family trait'. From what I remember my grandad Bell was a bitter celt and his brother Archie always looked out for him...They were a big family and upon taking grandad Bell to love street once he said,'take me hame this is mince', this comfirmed they did not have time for the saints. Again each to their own..

Ronnie Grant says: I remember watching Willie play for Leeds and consider him one of the best full-backs of his time. A hard man indeed.

Peter Taylor says: I would like to contact Bill and Mary Bell, we met at Liberty University in Virginia, USA. I need some advice about putting Christian Books into Prisons in the UK.


Have your say

Did you see Willie Bell play? Did you meet him in a pub, go to school with him, decorate his house or buy a motor from him? If you've got any comments or stories about Willie Bell on or off the pitch, just fill in the form below and (provided they're not blatantly libellous) I'll add them to this page. And just a quick note to the spammers who try to add their links to this page by attempting to get round the client-side validation: don't bother - the server side does similar checks and throws your garbage straight into the bit bucket.

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