Buy in a few short years his passion and determination took them to the top of the game, winning three league titles, two FA Cups and a UEFA Cup.
"Legends in football are legends because of their achievements, and his achievements in football were vast," says Ian St John, who was memorably signed by Bill in 1961 for £37,000, a massive sum at the time.
It could all have been so different.
Ian says that Bill first wanted to sign him when he was manager at Huddersfield. But the board wouldn't come up with the money.
"He told me he'd have signed me and Ronnie Yeats - another Scot - for Huddersfield," he said.
"If things had been different, Huddersfield would be the Liverpool of today.
"Dennis Law also played for them, and Ray Wilson and two or three other very good players.
"They nearly had a great team, but he said they couldn't come up with the money."
If at first you don't succeed seemed to be a motto in Bill's career.
The first time Liverpool asked him to manage the club he refused because at that time the directors - not the manager - chose the match-day team.
"So he turned his back on them," says Ian.
"A few years later they came back and he said again, 'Who picks the team?' This time they said: 'Yes, you pick the team'."
Bill had to fight to get the money to sign Ian.
After that boardroom battle was won he was never questioned again about which player he signed - or for what amount.
With Ron Yeats, another Scot, at the heart of the defence, Bill's fledgling Liverpool was formed.
It wasn't just the players he was building up - the club itself was physically reshaped. The training ground was transformed and new dressing rooms were installed.
AT THE same time Bill revolutionised the training regime. Out went running up and down the terraces and in came ball work, a flat back four and a healthy, nutritional diet.
"He said the stadium was a huge toilet when he went there at first," remembers Ian.
"While he was building the team, he was building the stadium as well. He was bringing Liverpool out of the dark ages. And while he was training the team he was training the crowd to what was good.
"He had the Liverpool fans eating out of his hand. It was amazing, the fans just thought the world of him."
The team did too, of course, and Ian recalls fondly the inspirational brilliance of a manager with a great sense of humour who always instilled his players with confidence.
"He was a manager you didn't mess around with," says Ian."Clubs fined players for this and for that, but he never ever fined a player.
"He would give you a telling off and that was it.
"Everybody was a wee bit scared of him - you didn't want to be on the receiving end of that bollocking."
Bill lived and breathed football and stories of his obsessional behaviour are still passed back and forth between fans like fragments of a religious artefact ... remembering each of his players in his prayers, working out his strategy for the following Saturday with the cutlery on the kitchen table and stopping the team bus to pick up hitchhiking fans and ordering the players to share their sandwiches with them.
Fans worshipped him because he treated them as his own. He walked among them up and down the terraces before a game at Anfield and when kids would knock his front door and ask for his autograph, he never refused.
Although it seemed that Liverpool won every cup, one prize eluded them.
"We were cheated in the semi-finals of the European Cup by the Italians, which was a big scandal that went on for years," says Ian.
"They were bribing referees. We won the first game at Anfield and should have got through.
"I think that was the one thing in which we as a team felt we had let the boss down."
IAN went on: "He should have been the first British manager to win the European Cup and he deserved to win it."
Ian remembers 10 of the happiest years of his life in football playing at Liverpool for Bill.
"His legacy was the Liverpool that followed up from our time, into the 1970s and 1980s," says Ian.
"You can only build on success, you can only build on solid foundations and that's what he laid at Liverpool.
"We were chuffed for the players who followed on but we were in there when it was all happening, helping the boss to build the club he wanted."