Willie Stevenson

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For other people of the same name, see William Stevenson.
Willie Stevenson
Personal information
Full name William Stevenson[1]
Date of birth (1939-10-26) 26 October 1939 (age 74)[1]
Place of birth Leith, Scotland[1]
Playing position Left half
Youth career
- Edina Hearts
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1958–1962 Rangers 73 (1)
1962–1967 Liverpool 188 (15)
1967–1973 Stoke City 94 (5)
1971 Hellenic (loan) 5 (0)
1973–1974 Tranmere Rovers 20 (0)
1974 Limerick 4 (0)
1974 Vancouver Whitecaps 19 (0)
1974–1975 Macclesfield Town 32 (0)
Total 375 (21)
National team
1959 Scottish League XI 1 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

William "Willie" Stevenson (born 26 October 1939) is a Scottish former professional football player and manager. He played for Rangers, Liverpool, Stoke City and Tranmere Rovers.[1]

Career[edit]

Stevenson was born in Leith, Edinburgh, Scotland. He played for Edina Hearts, Dalkeith Thistle and Rangers before Bill Shankly paid £20,000 to bring him to Liverpool in October 1962. He made his debut in the 2–1 home league defeat to Burnley on 3 November 1962, he scored his first goal in a 5–0 victory over Leyton Orient at Anfield, Stevenson managed to hit the net in the 35th minute, Roger Hunt with a hat-trick and Ian St John scored the others.[2] Willie had just lost his place to Jim Baxter in the Rangers side and was just settling down in Australia when both Liverpool and Preston North End put in bids to sign him, Liverpool got their man out bidding Preston in doing so. Stevenson helped the Reds gain the 1963–64 First Division title in only their 2nd season back in the top flight of English football, he featured in 38 of the 42 league games thus cementing a starting role on the left of the Reds midfield.[2]

Willie played a major role in winning of Liverpool's first ever FA Cup in 1965, he played in all of the ties and scored the all important 2nd goal from the penalty spot in the 2–0 semi-final victory over Chelsea at Villa Park.[2] Leeds United stood in Shankly's team's way and after a hard fought 0–0 draw in 90 minutes, goals from Hunt and St John were enough to beat the Elland Road club by 2 goals to 1 and see the famous trophy go to Anfield after a 72 year wait.[2] The following campaign, again, saw silverware head North-West to Merseyside as the Reds took the league title once more, Stevenson missed just the one fixture and scored five times as Liverpool topped the table by a comfortable 6 points over Leeds. Willie also tasted disappointment, however, as Borussia Dortmund beat Liverpool 2–1 in the European Cup Winners Cup final at Hampden Park, the 1st European final the Anfield club had reached.[2] Shankly had bought the 19 year old Emlyn Hughes from Blackpool in the February 1967 and selected him ahead of Stevenson at the beginning of the 1967–68 season, this proved to be turning point in Stevenson's career, he got the nod just once in the league and three times in the Fairs Cup. By the December of 1967 he was on his way leaving for Stoke City.[2]

Stoke manager Tony Waddington paid £30,000 for Stevenson as a replacement for the departed Calvin Palmer.[1] He played 20 games in 1967–68 and 34 times in 1968–69 as Stoke had two poor seasons narrowly avoiding relegation. A much improved 1969–70 campaign saw Stevenson play 23 games as Stoke finished in 9th.[1] He played six matches at the start of 1970–71 before injury ruled him out for the remainder of the season.[1] He played 25 games in 1971–72 and just three in 1972–73.[1] At the end of the season he left the Victoria Ground after making 111 appearances scoring seven goals, for Third Division Tranmere Rovers whre he made 27 appearances.[1]

In 1974, Willie travelled to Vancouver, British Columbia, to join the Vancouver Whitecaps in the newly formed North American Soccer League (NASL). He played in Vancouver for one season before ending his career. In 1975 he acted as assistant coach before returning to the UK in 1976. Willie is now retired, after his retirement in spent time as a publican and then ran a contract cleaning company in Macclesfield where he still lives.

Career statistics[edit]

Club Season League FA Cup League Cup Europe Other[A] Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Rangers 1958–59 Scottish Division One 26 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 29 0
1959–60 Scottish Division One 33 1 7 0 5 0 9 0 3 0 57 1
1960–61 Scottish Division One 8 0 1 0 2 0 0 0 1 0 12 0
1961–62 Scottish Division One 5 0 1 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 8 0
Total 72 1 12 0 9 0 9 0 4 0 106 1
Liverpool 1962–63 First Division 28 2 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 34 2
1963–64 First Division 38 1 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 43 1
1964–65 First Division 39 3 8 1 0 0 9 1 1 0 57 5
1965–66 First Division 41 5 1 0 0 0 9 1 1 0 52 5
1966–67 First Division 41 3 4 0 0 0 5 0 1 0 51 3
1967–68 First Division 1 1 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 4 1
Total 188 15 24 1 0 0 26 2 3 0 241 18
Stoke City 1967–68 First Division 18 0 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 20 1
1968–69 First Division 32 3 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 34 3
1969–70 First Division 20 2 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 23 3
1970–71 First Division 5 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 6 0
1971–72 First Division 17 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 8 0 25 0
1972–73 First Division 2 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 3 0
Total 94 5 5 2 4 0 0 0 8 0 111 7
Tranmere Rovers 1973–74 Third Division 20 0 2 0 5 0 0 0 0 0 27 0
Total 20 0 2 0 5 0 0 0 0 0 27 0
Career Total 374 21 43 3 18 0 35 2 15 0 485 26
A. ^ The "Other" column constitutes appearances and goals in the Anglo-Scottish Cup, Glasgow Cup, FA Charity Shield and Texaco Cup.

Honours[edit]

Liverpool

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Matthews, Tony (1994). The Encyclopaedia of Stoke City. Lion Press. ISBN 0-9524151-0-0. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Willie Stevenson". LFC History. Retrieved 12 February 2013. 

External links[edit]