Willie Bell was born in Johnstone, Renfrewshire in 1937. He played for Queen’s Park in the Scottish Football League and for Leeds United, Leicester City and Brighton & Hove Albion (1969-70, 52 appearances, 1 goal) in the English Football League.
He played more than 200 league games for Leeds United in the 1960s. Leeds had many hard men but Bell was only cautioned once with a booking in over 200 games for Leeds. Norman Hunter said of him “Willie Bell was one of the bravest men I have seen in my life. He never blinked, he never flinched, he just went for it.” The Definitive History of Leeds United published a small biography of Bell titled Willie Bell – Hewn of Scottish granite saying he was “a consistent force at left back for Leeds between 1962 and 1967” as well as being “one of a clutch of old hands amongst a squad of novices as United sprinted to the top of the English game”.
Bell played in the 1965 FA Cup Final and multiple European club competitions. At international level, Bell represented Scotland multiple times at various levels including being called up twice for full-international duty. His International career included a 1–1 draw with Brazil in 1966 at Hampden Park. Bell had one of the stronger outings that day, effectively shutting Jairzinho out of the match.