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Posted: Fri May 18, 2007 10:12 am
I wondered if anyone had any information on the former Rangers and Liverpool player Billy Stevenson.
Posted: Fri May 18, 2007 6:44 pm
Stevenson, born in Leith 26/10/39 signed for Rangers from Edina Hearts in November 1956 but didn't make his debut until 1958-59 when, a day before his 19th birthday, he played in a 2-2 league draw away to Stirling Albion. He was a fixture in the Rangers side at left-half from then until the signing of Jim Baxter in the summer of 1960. He won a league title medal in 1959 and played in the team that won the Scottish Cup in 1960.
He played for Scotland in the unofficial international against Jutland in May 1959 and for the Scottish League against the Irish League at Ibrox in October 1959.
All told he made 113 appearances for Rangers - 73 league, 12 Scottish Cup, 9 League Cup, 9 European - and scored once, in a 5-0 league win over Airdrie at Broomfield in December 1959. First team opportunities were rare after the signing of Baxter and Stevenson actually emigrated to Australia before being lured back to the UK by Bill Shankly who took him to newly-promoted Liverpool in October 1962. As Rangers still held his registration they received a transfer fee of around £20,000.
Stevenson's best seasons were spent at Anfield. He made his debut in a 2-1 league defeat at home to Burnley on November 3rd 1962 and rarely missed a match thereafter, playing 241 first class matches for Liverpool in five years (240 +1s) there, scoring 18 goals and was part of an impressive half-back line along with Gordon Milne and Ron Yeats. He played 188 league games, scoring 15 goals, 24 FA Cup ties, scoring once, 26 European matches (25 + 1s), scoring once and played three times in the Charity Shield, scoring in the 2-2 draw with Man Utd in August 1965.
He won championship medals in 1964 & 1966 and played in the side which won Liverpool's first FA Cup in 1965. He was also on the losing team in the Cup-Winners Cup Final in 1966.
At the outset of 1967-68 he lost his first team place to Emlyn Hughes and was transferred to Stoke City (then a top flight side) in December 1967. Ironically, the week before his transfer he made his solitary league appearance of the season for Liverpool and scored a penalty in a 2-1 win over Wolves at Anfield.
In over five years in the Potteries he made a further 94 league appearances (82 +12s) and scored five times. He played five FA Cup ties and scored two goals. He also played in five League Cup matches (no goals) but only played once - in a third round draw at Oxford - in 1971-72 when Stoke won the League Cup.
Additionally, he played in three Texaco Cup and four Anglo-Italian Cup matches without scoring in any.
He moved on to Third Division Tranmere Rovers for the 1973-74 season where he again teamed up with ex-Anfield team-mates Tommy Lawrence and Ron Yeats who was player-manager and played 20 times in the league, twice in the FA Cup and five times in the League Cup, including a shock 1-0 victory over Arsenal at Highbury in the second round. Stevenson also played twice against Wolves in the next round when the Molineux side won through in a replay before going on to lift the trophy.
His final appearance in the league was in a 2-0 win at Prenton Park against Charlton on Feb 24th 1974. After that Stevenson had a spell in North America with Vancouver Whitecaps before returning to the UK and non-league football with Macclesfield Town.
Posted: Sat May 19, 2007 10:08 am
All gold. Cheers.