When Ken Booker surrendered his dominance of the centre-half spot by moving to Shrewsbury, many were surprised by Bill Leivers' promotion to the first team, in preference to Dave Blakey. It certainly surprised Blakey, who responded by slapping in a transfer request! The young man, who first joined the Spireites as an amateur in 1948, held his place on merit and soon attracted scouts with a maturity and ability that belied his inexperience. For the want of thirty fags, though, Bill might have been a Spireite for a great deal longer. One Christmas, so the story goes, a Chesterfield director gave each first-teamer fifty cigarettes, and gave twenty to each of the other players. Bill considered himself to be among the first-teamers but was injured at the time and received only twenty. The cigarettes themselves were of no consequence - Bill was a non-smoker - but the penny-pinching principle upset him, and he determined to leave the club.
With someone like Blakey in reserve, the club could easily afford to cash in on Bill's promise, and he became part of the rumoured `special arrangement' on transfers between Chesterfield and Manchester City, for £10,800: not a bad fee, for one with so few League games behind him.
Bill became one of the most significant City players of the 1950's. Converted to a full-back, he was a member of City's 1956 F.A. Cup winning side and was proud that a poll of ex-City veterans voted him the team's best player on the day. He came back after a cartilage operation in 1960, just another injury setback to a player whose bravery and competitiveness was characterised by his five broken noses, operations on both knees, broken ankle and broken elbow.
Bill clocked up 250 League games in City's colours. After a long and distinguished career at Maine Road Bill moved into management. His time at Belle Vue ended with resignation in February, 1966, whereafter he joined Workington. From there, he went to the Abbey Stadium, and was Cambridge United's manager on their accession to League status in 1970. United established themselves in the League under Bill's management and won promotion to Division Three in 1973: he left the club after relegation the following season, though, and went back to the Southern League to manage Chelmsford City and Cambridge City. He continued to serve Cambridge City in a number of roles until retiring as General Manager in the summer of 1998.
For Chesterfield: 27 League appearances.