Book Chronicles Professional Soccer Star’s Faith Journey
Sept. 2, 2014
A new book by Liberty Mountain Publishing shares the amazing life of former professional soccer player and Liberty University men's soccer coach William Bell.
"The Light at the End of the Tunnel" -- written by Bell -- tells the unlikely story of how a former Scottish and Leeds United soccer star turned his life around by giving it away to others. Bell, widely considered one of Scotland's greatest soccer players ever, shares his remarkable journey in an autobiography told to journalist and co-author Ron Starner.
Historians have already judged Bell as one of the greatest leaders and fiercest competitors ever to suit up in the white uniform of storied Leeds United; now readers will have the opportunity to understand what drove Bell to leave the millionaire lifestyle of British soccer behind and give his life to a ministry based on faith and service.
Bell's salvation story begins in a small chapel in Ohio farm country and continues with the founding of his ministry, Within the Walls, where he helps young offenders in British prisons find hope. In between is a 20-year coaching stint at Lynchburg, Va.'s Liberty University, the world's largest Christian university.
From Elton John and Peter Frampton to Jerry Falwell and Bruce Arena, Bell's incredible journey intersects with many people who changed the world. In writing his autobiography, Bell hopes that people both in and out of the sport of soccer will see that a life should not be measured by popularity and success, but by how many people one encourages along the way.
Endorsed by Liberty University President Jerry Falwell and Los Angeles Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena, "The Light At the End of the Tunnel" is a must-read for anyone who thinks that character counts for more than championships. It is available on Amazon.com and BarnesAndNoble.com.
About William Bell
Born and raised in Scotland, Bell made his mark at the highest level of professional soccer in Scotland and England in the 1960s and 70s. He played for Scotland against Pelé and Brazil; starred for Leeds United as a teammate of Sir Jack Charlton and Bobby Collins; and coached Birmingham City, Leicester City, and Brighton & Hove Albion. Following his 20-year professional career in Great Britain, Bell accepted the challenge of building a soccer program at Liberty University. For two decades, he led the Liberty Flames to state and national prominence, molding a number of young men into professional soccer players, including some who would suit up for their respective national teams. In September 2011, Bell was inducted into the Liberty Athletics Hall of Fame, joining such notable sports figures as Sid Bream, Al Worthington, and Kelvin Edwards. Bell and his wife, Mary, also founded the Within the Walls prison ministry in 1993 and spent much of the next two decades spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ to young inmates behind bars throughout England. Today, the Bells reside in Bluffton, S.C., near Hilton Head.
About Ron Starner
A 1986 graduate of Liberty University, Starner is the executive vice president of Conway Data Inc. and Site Selection Magazine in Atlanta, Ga. He also serves as the executive director of the Foreign Direct Investment Association and editor of the FDI Report, the Janus Reporter, and the Trust Belt newsletter. He is the author of "The 12 Standards of Successful Leaders," published in 2011, which profiles 10 notable leaders, including Jonathan Falwell, senior pastor of Thomas Road Baptist Church. A four-year soccer letterman at Liberty, Starner played for one of Bell's most successful teams -- the 1985 squad that was ranked as high as No. 8 in the country in NCAA Division II. Starner was a GTE Academic All-American in soccer at Liberty and the All-Virginia Intercollegiate Soccer Association, registering three goals and six assists as a left defender. He now writes regularly for Site Selection, an international business magazine with a circulation of more than 48,000 worldwide.