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
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
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
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
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.