Willie Stevenson

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Willie Stevenson
Willie Stevenson (1966).jpg
Personal information
Full name William Stevenson[1]
Date of birth (1939-10-26) 26 October 1939 (age 78)[1]
Place of birth Leith, Midlothian, 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

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

Career[edit]

Rangers[edit]

Stevenson was born in Leith, Midlothian, Scotland. He played for Edina Hearts, Dalkeith Thistle and Rangers in summer of 1959. He lost his first team place as a first team regular after Jim Baxter joined Rangers in 1960. Baxter initially played at inside forward before being moved to the left half berth Stevenson had occupied. Rangers then allowed Stevenson to move on loan to Australia when both Liverpool and Preston North End put in bids to sign him.

Liverpool[edit]

Bill Shankly paid £20,000 to bring the 22 year old 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] 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]

He played a major role in winning of Liverpool's first ever FA Cup in 1965, he played in all of the ties scoring the second 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 0–0 draw in 90 minutes, goals from Hunt and St John beat the Elland Road club by 2 goals to 1 to take the trophy go to Anfield after a 72-year wait.[2] The following campaign, again, saw silverware head 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. He 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 December 1967 he was on his way leaving for Stoke City.[2]

Stoke City[edit]

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.

Tranmere Rovers[edit]

He joined Third Division Tranmere Rovers where he made 27 appearances.[1]

Vancouver Whitecaps[edit]

In 1974, he 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.

After football[edit]

He 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]

Source:[3]

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 1 0 0 0 8 0 26 0
1972–73 First Division 2 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 3 0
Total 94 5 5 2 5 0 0 0 8 0 112 7
Tranmere Rovers 1973–74 Third Division 20 0 2 0 5 0 0 0 0 0 27 0
Vancouver Whitecaps 1974 North American Soccer League 19 0 19 0
Career Total 393 21 43 3 19 0 35 2 15 0 505 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. 
  3. ^ Willie Stevenson profile at the English National Football Archive (subscription required)

External links[edit]