Billy Garraty – Arguably The First Substitute in a Football League Game.

Billy Garraty was the League’s top scorer in 1899/1900 and has a unique claim to fame as arguably one of the first substitutes in a Football League game. In 1898/99 Aston Villa’s Division 1 fixture at Sheffield Wednesday played on 26th November 1898 was abandoned after in the 80 minute due to bad light. Sheffield Wednesday were 3-1 up at the time. Uniquely, rather than let the score stand or order the whole match to be replayed, the League decreed that the two clubs should resume the match at Sheffield and play only the final 10 plus minutes. Rather than replay the whole game Villa had to travel back to Sheffield to play the final 10 minutes.  The final few minutes were played nearly four months later on Monday March 13th 1899 when Sheffield Wednesday scored another goal  to make the  final score 4-1. However By the time the match was resumed both sides had changed their line-ups. This included Billy Garraty for Aston Villa, and Samuel Bosworth, Bob Ferrier, Ambrose Langley, Jack Pryce and Fred Richards (who scored the final goal) of Sheffield Wednesday who all played in only the final 11 minutes. Without doubt these substitutes most go down as the first to be used in a Football League match?