Willie Bell was a left back with Neilston Juniors and he signed for Queen’s Park in 1958 before moving on to Leeds United in 1960. Willie was to stay at Elland Road for 7 years making 204 apperarances and scoring 2 goals.
Willie would play in a Leeds United team featuring such players as Billy Bremner, Jack Charlton, Johnny Giles and Norman Hunter. In a very hard tackling Leeds United team, Willie was considered the hardest of the lot.
After his Leeds United days were over, Willie signed for Leicester City and turned out 49 times over the next 2 years. He had a decent keeper behind him too, the young Peter Shilton.
Willie would go on to play a couple of seasons with Brighton & Hove Albion in the English Football League. In 1975 Willie became the manager of Birmingham City and remained in the hot seat at St Andrew’s until 1977 when he was replaced by Sir Alf Ramsey. Willie then became manager of Lincoln City for a year before emigrating to the USA.
Willie had two ‘claims to fame’ that not many ex-Farmer’s Boys can match. Firstly he played at Wembley in the 1965 FA Cup Final for Leeds United against Liverpool. Secondly, in the following year, 1966, he was capped on the 18th and 25th June for Scotland against Portugal and Brazil who were warming up for World Cup 1966.
There can’t have been many defenders from Brig O’Lea who had to square up to Eusebio and Pele on successive Saturdays and the two of them failed to find the net!