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
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
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.