England Football Online
Goalkeepers Index Page Last Updated
6 October 2018

Willie/Billy Foulkes

Sheffield United FC

1 appearances, 0 goals against

P 1 W 1 D 0 L 0 F 4: A 0
100% successful


captain: none
minutes played:


Full name William Henry Foulkes
Born 12 April 1874 in Dawley Bank, Shropshire [registered as Foulk, in Madeley, June 1874].
Grew up in Blackwell.

Census Notes

Foulkes' grave at Burngreave Cemetery

Using the 1871 census, we can establish William's parentage. He had at least six older siblings, to James and Jane Foulk, and they lived in Dawley Bank Village, his birthplace. His father, and most of his brothers AND sisters worked down the coalmines.

According to the 1881 census, William H. is the youngest of five living with their parents, James and Jane. On this census however, both he and his older brother, eleven year-old Thomas, are noted as grandsons, whereas in the previous return, Thomas was noted as a son. Regardless of the relation, they live at 122 Primrose Hill in the Blackwell area of Mansfield. His grand/father and uncles/brothers are all coal miners.

According to the 1891 census, William Foulke is a coal miner living with his grandmother, Jane, who has remarried to Joseph Fern. And with four boarders, they all still live at 122 Primrose Hill.

According to the 1901 census, William Foulkes is a professional footballer for Sheffield United, married to Beatrice with two sons, Robert and Redvers. They live at 8 Belgrave Square in Ecclesall Bierlow.

None of the Foulkes family can be found on the 1911 census. But newspaper reports put them at The Duke Inn, Matilda Street in Sheffield, in 1910 (they were not at The Duke Inn for the 1911 census, it had been handed over to Harry Davis).

Married: to Beatrice Ellena Duff [registered as Foulke, in Sheffield, June 1896]. Died in 1933
Died: 1 May 1916 at Sister Tate's Nursing Home, Glossop Road, aged 42 years 21 days [registered as Foulkes, in Ecclesall Bierlow, June 1916] of cirrhosis.
Funeral held on 4 May at Burngreave Cemetery, Attercliffe (left).
Height/Weight: 6' 2", 15st. 0lbs [1892], 6' 2", 19st. 7½lbs [1899], 6' 2½", 21st. 0lbs [1901], 6' 3", 22st. 3lbs [1906].

Douglas Lammings' An English Football Internationalist Who's Who [1990] & FindMyPast.com

Club Career

Club(s) Began his career at Alfreton FC before joining Blackwell Colliery FC. From there he joined Sheffield United FC in 1894 for a £19 transfer fee, and after 299 league appearances, he joined Chelsea FC in May 1905 for a £50 transfer fee, making just 34 league outings. He joined Bradford City FC in April 1906, retiring in November 1907 after just 22 league appearances, appearing a total of 355 times between the sticks.
Club honours Football League runners-up 1896-97, 1899-1900, Champions 1897-98; FA Cup winners 1898-99, 1901-02, runners-up 1900-01;
Individual honours Football League (two appearances)
Distinctions Somehow, made played cricket for Derbyshire CCC (four appearances, 1900)


Douglas Lammings' An English Football Internationalist Who's Who [1990].

England Career

Player number One of two who became 234th players (234) to appear for England. 28th goalkeeper to appear.
Position(s) Goalkeeper
Only match No. 60, 29 March 1897, England 4 Wales 0, a British Championship match at Bramall Lane, Highfield, Sheffield, aged 22 years 351 days.
Major tournaments British Championship 1896-97;
Team honours None
Individual honours None
Distinctions Possibly the heaviest player to ever play for England

England Tragedy

"The story of how Billy Foulkes who for many years was Sheffield United's goalkeeper, was attacked by a Sheffield hooligan was told in the Police-court on Saturday morning.
"Foulkes is a man of no mean proportions and weight, but Samuel Garvin, of Alfred-road, Sheffield, walked up to him in Exchange-street on Friday night and without the slightest justification attacked him with a pocket-knife. He then took to his heels, and a policeman chased and caught him.
"On this charge Garvin received two months' hard labour...It was stated that Garvin was associated with "Tearaway Jack's" gang, the leader of which was committed to gaol last week. On this charge also Garvin was given two months' hard labour." - The Leeds Mercury, Monday, 1 July 1912.

England Disgrace

Foulkes snapped at Bramall Lane in 1913Earlier in 1910, Foulkes had been questioned by the Sheffield magistrates for holding stolen property, a horse and cart, at the stables at Duke Inn. The perpetrator was sentenced to fourteen days in prison.
On 29 September, the police raided The Duke Inn, Foulkes was searched and forty-five betting slips were found on his person. He replied to questions from the police that he had "no idea how they got there".
"At Sheffield Police Court on Wednesday William Henry Foulkes, formerly goalkeeper Bill Foulkes cartoonfor Sheffield United, was fined £25 for allowing his licensed premises, the Duke Inn, to be used for gaming. Frank Greaves, bookmaker, of Ecclesfield, was fined £50, and Harry Clayton, hawker, of Sheffield, £5 for betting on the premises." - The Derby Daily Telegraph, Thursday, 20 October 1910.
"The Sheffield magistrates yesterday had before them an application for the transfer of the licence of the Duke Inn, Matilda-street, from William Henry Foulkes to Fred Holt, carrying on business and holding a beer-off licence at Hoyland, Barnsley. The police objected to the transfer on the ground that on October 19th Foulkes was fined 25 for permitting betting on the premises. The unused declined to make a decision on the matter, leaving the case for decision by the Licensing Justices in December." -
The Nottingham Evening News, Wednesday, 9 November 1910.
"Very strong views were expressed by the Sheffield Licensing Justices, yesterday, in regard to the supervision which had been exercised over the management of the Duke Inn, Matilda Street. At the Sheffield Brewser Sessions, that conviction [Foulke's guilt and fine] was made the ground for opposing the renewal of the licence.
"Mr. A.B. Chambers applied for the renewal of the licence, and asked that it should be made out in the name of Harry Davis. Davis, he said, had recently entered into possession in the place of Foulkes. He was a man thoroughly experienced in the licensed trade, and had an unblemished record." -
Sheffield Daily Telepgraph, Thursday, 2 February 1911.

Beyond England

Later ran a Penny-a-Penalty sideshow on Blackpool beach, where he paid the successul marksman 3d. - An English Football Internationalists' Who's Who. Douglas Lamming (1990). Hatton Press, p.100.


Willie/Billy Foulkes - Career Statistics
Squads Apps Comp
Mins. GA GA Av.
Comp GA Clean
Sht Av
Capt. Disc.
1 1 1 90 0 0 min 0 1 100% none none
minutes are an approximation, due to the fact that many matches rarely stick to exactly ninety minutes long, allowing time for injuries and errors.


Willie/Billy Foulkes - Match Record - All Matches - By Type of Match
Type P W D L F A GD FTS CS FAv AAv Pts % W/L
Home - British Championship 1 1 0 0 4 0 +4 0 1 4.00 0.00 100.0 +1
All 1 1 0 0 4 0 +4 0 1 4.00 0.00 100.0 +1


Willie/Billy Foulkes - Match Record - Tournament Matches
British Championship Competition
Type P W D L F A GD FTS CS FAv AAv Pts% W/L
BC 1896-97 1 1 0 0 4 0 +4 0 1 4.00 0.00 100.0 +1
BC All 1 1 0 0 4 0 +4 0 1 4.00 0.00 100.0 +1
All Competition
Type P W D L F A GD FTS CS FAv AAv Pts% W/L
BC 1 1 0 0 4 0 +4 0 1 4.00 0.00 100.0 +1
All 1 1 0 0 4 0 +4 0 1 4.00 0.00 100.0 +1


Willie/Billy Foulkes - Match History
 Club: Sheffield United F.C. - 1 full cap

F.A. International Select Committee - 1 full capx

Age 22
1 60 29 March 1897 - England 4 Wales 0, Bramall Lane, Sheffield BC HW Start gk