Signed by George Johnson from Aston Villa where time has shown him to have been some what of a legend at the club. However, his short stint as a Fox didn’t go to plan. He arrived at Fosse very much on his twilight years but his later career he still had plenty to offer. He stayed just seven weeks and failed to score in the six games he played in. He was signed by one of Villa’s local rivals West Brom, where he enjoyed better fortunes in front of goal.
Debut v Bristol City (H) 12.9.08
A veteran goalscoring centre-forward who had been capped for England agains Wales in 1903, and won both League Championship (1900) and F.A. Cup (1905) medals from his 256 game, 111 goal career with Villa, Billy stayed with Fosse only a matter of some seven weeks when signed to augment their First Division forces.
He was hardly over the hill, though – his twenty goals for West Brom over the next two years evidenced that – and the wisdom of Fosse letting him go (at £270, representing £20 profit) has to be questioned in view of their subsequent nosedive to relegation. They had lost only once with Billy in the side, despite his own inability to get off the scoring mark.
Back in the early days of his senior career, Billy took part in the notorious ten-and-a-half minute match between Sheffield Wednesday and Villa – the Football League had demanded that a game abandoned in November 1898 had to be completed almost four months later, and Billy, who wasn’t in the side for the first 79-and-a-half minutes, had made his breakthrough in the interim !
Date Competition Opposition Result Start Sub Goals
1 12.09.1908 Division One (old) Bristol City (H) 1 – 1
2 19.09.1908 Division One (old) Preston North End (A) 1 – 0
3 26.09.1908 Division One (old) Middlesbrough (H) 1 – 1
4 03.10.1908 Division One (old) Manchester City (A) 2 – 5
5 10.10.1908 Division One (old) Liverpool (H) 3 – 2
6 24.10.1908 Division One (old) Sheffield United (H) 1 – 1