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Players Index Page Last Updated
27 December 2022

Billy Walker

Aston Villa FC

18 appearances, 9 goals (one on debut)
one missed penalty

P 18 W 9 D 5 L 4 F 35: A 25
64% successful


captain: three
minutes played:


  William Henry Walker
Birth 29 October 1897 in Dudley Street, Wednesbury, Staffordshire [registered in West Bromwich, December 1897].
Attended King's Hill School in Wednesbury
Baptism 30 November 1897 at St. James' Church in Wednesbury
Address stated as being No. 2 Court 5 house Dudley Street in Wednesbury, His father is a collier

According to the 1901 census, William is the oldest of two children to George and Violet (née Jacques), his younger brother is also named George. His father is a professional footballer. They live at 60 Birmingham Street in the Darlaston area of Wednesbury.


According to the 1911 census, William is now the oldest of seven children, all at home with their parents. Lottie, Lily, Neillie, Doris Evelyn and Cyril are the extra additions. Another two had since died. His father is now a labourer, and along with Violet's widowed father and brother, they are all living at 1 Cope Street in Darlaston.

Marriage to Sarah Elizabeth Brown [registered in Walsall, March 1919].
  According to the 1921 census, William Henry, a professional footballer (for Aston Villa FC), is married to Sarah Elizabeth and are living at 99 Wandel Road in Handsworth with his younger brother, George.
"A summons has been taken out by Mr. Darrell H. Foxon, of Sheffield, against Mr. William H. Walker, secretary-manager of the Sheffield Wednesday Football Club, alleging assault and damage. It is answerable at Barnsley on Thursday, November 18. Barnsley and Sheffield Wednesday played at Barnsley last Saturday, and Mr. Foxon, who is a member of Sheffield City Council, was a spectator."
- Tuesday, 9 November 1937, Gloucestershire Echo (The day before his resignation was accepted)
"Barnsley magistrates yesterday dismissed summonses brought against Mr. W. H. Walker, formerly manager of Sheffield Wednesday Football Club, by Coun. Darell H. Foxon for assault and 15s. damages to his spectacles.
"The Bench were very sorry that the case had come into Court, said Mr. B.F. Canter, presiding magistrate.
"They unanimously thought that they payment of court costs by Walker-amounting to 4s. in each case-would meet the position.
"Mr. W.E. Wise (prosecuting) said that Mr. Foxon was a member of the Sheffield City Council and had been a supporter of the Sheffield Wednesday Football Club for many years.
"On 6 November, he went to the Barnsley football ground and took up a position against a wall dividing the players' entrance from the rest of the Terrace.
""I am instructed," Mr. Wise went on, "that Sheffield Wednesday were being rather heavily beaten, and there was considerable shouting going on among the spectators. Mr. Foxon heard someone walking rather sharply down the gangway from the players' entrance and, turning round he saw Walker who said something to him. He failed to catch what it was. He then received two fairly violent blows in the face, one on the bridge of the nose and the other on the left side of the eye. These blows were delivered by Walker and Mr. Foxon's glasses were broken. That is, shortly, what happened, but I think that it would be wrong to leave the matter there, because this case is entirely different from the ordinary ones which come before you. This affair happened at a football match to which people had paid to go to be entertained. It is a place where criticism is given vent to by the spectators. Defendant is a man with the utmost experience of the game, both as a player and as a manager. He has many times earned the plaudits of the crowd when his team has done well, and he has had to accept criticism when it has done badly. The manager of a football club must be able to take the good with the bad without losing control of himself. If undue criticism-and I am not suggesting that there was any undue criticism in this case-is going to be treated in this way; if spectators are going to be subjected to what I submit wasa cowardly and un-English action, then it will not be safe for them to go to football matches unless they are muzzled or gagged."
"Foxon gave evidence bearing out this statement, and in answer to Mr. Wise, said that he did nothing at the match to cause him to be attacked by Walker.
"Mr. R.L. Craig (for Mr. Walker): You have formed your own opinion as to what is the matter with Wednesday?
" - Yes.
"What is the matter? - Roughly speaking, the management do not seem to have the faintest notion of running a football club.
"Thank you. I think you have written various articles to the Press much to that effect? - I have a written one.
"Is it an opinion that you have often expressed to directors of the club that the defendant is incompetent? - Not exactly that. I have said that things were being managed so badly --
"Is that not the same thing? - No,
"Have you expressed the opinion that it was time the Wednesday had a new manager? - I have.
"Have you also made a constant practise of shouting out towards the directors' box at football matches at Hillsborough? - No.
"Foxon denied that he shouted 'Why don't you buy a new manager?' or 'Play your own game, lads, never mind the manager,' but agreed that he said, 'Play your own game, and don't sort of listen to orders.'
"Mr. Craig: I suggest that your account is one tissue of lies from start to finish? - Everything I have siad is true.
"Mr. Craig handed Foxon a slip of paper and asked him if he used the expression written on it.
"Foxon: No. It is an absolute lie.
"He denied pushing his way towards Walker in a threatening and aggressive manner."
"Mr. Craig: You stand near the directors' boxto persistently hold him up to ridicule? - No.
"He agreed that he had written a newspaper article headed, 'I condemn Sheffield Wednesday,' and that one passage read: 'If the directors could have listened-in at places where men foregather at nights, I do not think they would have dared to take their seats at the next home match.'
"You have never been in football management? - No, thank heaven.
"What would be your attitude if Walker circularised your clients, saying what a rotten chartered accountant you were? - That is not the same thing.
"But if he did, what would you think? - In the first place he must prove that.
"Would you think it fair comment and fair criticism? - If right, yes.
"You would not consider it a personal attack? - No.
"Foxon added that he saw about eight games at Hillsborough last season and had been only once this season. 'It makes me ill watching them,' he added.
"Mr. Craig: I put it to you that this incident at Barnsley was the culmination of two and a half years' campaign by you of vicious and vindictive persecution? - No. It was not.
"Several witness were called to corroborate Foxon's evidence.
"Mr. Craig asked the Bench to take into consideration the circumstances which had been mounting up for a very long time. The defence was that Walker acted in self-defence, believing that he was about to be assaulted, and that he was justified in so believing because of the personal nature of the attacks which Foxon had made upon him for over two and a half years. So seriously did the directors of the Wednesday club regard complainant's behaviour that they were seeking powers to have him debarred from their ground. Twelve steady, prominent citizens, who were also sportsmen, would not go to such a length as that unless they had been given reasonable grounds for so doing.
"During the game at Oakwell, Mr. W. Foster, a director of the Barnsley club, was so disgusted with Foxon's conduct that he called him to shut up and watch the match. Whether Walker was convicted or acquitted the case would do him serious harm in the football world which was his livelihood.
"Walker, giving evidence, said that in the season 1934-5 Foxon commenced writing letters to the Press condemning the Wednesday club and the manager. Witnesses saw him for the first time last season when Foxon called out at Hillsborough: 'Why not sack the manager?'. Police were specially engaged to watch Foxon. Dealing with the incident at Oakwell, Walker said that near the end of the game he saw Foxon coming towards him. 'I was under the impression that he was coming to strike me,' said witness.
""I knocked his hat off with my left hand, and with another light blow knocked his glasses off. I certainly did not strike him with my fist. They were open-minded blows." Walker added that Foxon hissed out a foul word.
"Mr Craig: Did you think you were about to be struck?
"Witness: I certainly did. I have never seen a man look so ferocious. After the incident numerous people said I had not hit him hard enough.
"Mr Wise: Your complaint against Mr. Foxon is that he has written to the Press? - No; it is his attitude to me personally.
"Are you a bad tempered man? - No.
"Have you had an argument with a referee and were you cautioned by the Football Association? - They asked me not to interfere.
"Walker said he had also been cautioned for interfering with a linesman.
"Were you able to keep calm and collected in face of what was happening on the field? - Yes, I have experienced that too often.
"William Foster, a director of the Barnsley Club, said that during the game Foxon kept up a continual barrage against Walker and near the end of the match used an offensive word. Walker then struck him. 'I should have done what Walker did,' added witness.
"Sam Powell, trainer of the Wednesday, said that in the first half Foxon shouted: 'Play your own game, and take no notice of Billy Walker.'
Coun. William Fearnehough, a director of the Sheffield Wednesday Club, said that during the last two or three years he and Foxon had not been on speaking terms. When Foxon passed him in the street he repeatedly remarked 'Billy Walker,' or 'Sack Billy Walker.'
"Coun. Donald Craig, another Wednesday director, said that if something did not suit Foxon he would turn towards the directors' box and call out: 'Sack Billy Walker'. 'On one occasion,' said Coun. Craig, 'he rang me up at midnight. He said that he was broken-hearted, and could not sleep, and that the only thing to do was to sack Billy Walker.'
"The chairman (Mr. B.F. Canter) said that the Bench were very sorry that the cases had come into court."
- Friday, 19 November 1937, The Daily Independent
""I want to forget the matter as soon as possible," Mr. W. H. Walker told a 'Daily Independent' reporter yesterday, following the dismissal of summonses.
""Yes, I have had many many congratulations by all kinds of people on the result of the case." he added. "They are from friends in Sheffield as well as outside and have come by telegram and over the 'phone. A lot of them I know, but there are many I don't know at all."
"Asked what his plans were Mr. Walker replied that he was considering a couple of offers. "I don't know what my plans will be yet," he added. "The offers involve football and their acceptance would take me out of Sheffield, but I am just going to have a holiday. I cannot tell you when I shall come to a decision over the matter."
- Friday, 19 November 1937, The Daily Independent
  According to the 1939 register, William H, a football manager/secretary, and Sarah E. are now married, and they live at 38 Repton Road in West Bridgford, along with their daughter, Marjorie J..
Death 28 November 1964 in Sheffield, aged 67 years 30 days [registered in Bingham, Nottinghamshire].


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

Biographies Billy Walker: One, Twice, Three Times a Winner - Edward Giles (Desert Island books, August 2008)

Playing Career

Club(s) Began his schoolboy football in Walsall, and made three appearances for Hednesford Town FC in 1912. Also played with Fallings Heath FC, Darlaston FC and Wednesbury Old Park FC and Wednesbury Old Athletic FC, before he was spotted by Aston Villa FC, who signed him as a part-time professional in 1915. He returned to Wednesbury Old Park FC during the war period, and also turned out for the Villa and the Birmingham club. In May 1919, Walker signed as a full professional with the Villa, and remained, becoming club captain, until his retirement on 7 December 1933, completing 478 league appearances, scoring 214 goals, having accepted a new job with Sheffield Wednesday FC.
Club honours FA Cup winners 1919-20, runners-up 1923-24; Football League runners-up 1930-31, 1932-33;
Individual honours Football League (six appearances); FA Charity Shield winners with Professionals 1924;
Distinctions Son of George Walker (Crystal Palace FC, 1905-09)
Walker possibly had a trophy named after him, the Billy Walker Unemployed Cup was played for by clubs in Sheffield in the 1930's.
Height/Weight 5' 11½", 12st. 5lbs [1925].


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

Management Career

Club(s) Appointed Secretary-manager of Sheffield Wednesday FC on 7 December 1933, until he tended his resignation on 7 November 1937, it was accepted two days later. He was linked with the vacant managerial position at Aston Villa in October 1935. On 24 January 1938, Walker was appointed secretary-manager of newly-formed Chelmsford City FC, who were applying for election to the Southern League, despite being a successful application, Walker remained until his resignation on 20 October, the same year. Joined Nottingham Forest FC as manager on 20 March 1939 and remained until July 1960, when he had to step down on health grounds.
Club honours FA Cup winners 1934-35, 1958-59; FA Charity Shield winners 1935; Football League Division Three (South) winners 1950-51; Division Two runners-up 1956-57;

England Career

Player number One of four who became 398th players (401) to appear for England.
Position(s) Centre-forward, inside-left
First match No. 123, 23 October 1920, England 2 Ireland 0, a British Championship match at Roker Park, Roker, Sunderland, aged 22 years 360 days.
Last match No. 184, 7 December 1932, England 4 Austria 3, a friendly match at Stamford Bridge, Fulham Road, Fulham, London, aged 35 years 39 days.
Major tournaments British Championship 1920-21, 1921-22, 1923-24, 1924-25, 1925-26, 1926-27;
Team honours British Championship shared 1926-27;
Individual honours England Joint Topscorer 1920-21 (1), Topscorer 1924 (4), 1924-25 (3);
Distinctions None

Beyond England

After stepping down from the Forest management, Walker remained on the club's committee until his death. - An English Football Internationalists' Who's Who. Douglas Lamming (1990). Hatton Press, p.257.


Billy Walker - Career Statistics
Squads Apps comp. apps Mins. goals ave.min comp. goals Capt. Disc.
19 18 13 1620 9 180 min 5 three 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.


Billy Walker - Match Record - All Matches
Type P W D L F A GD FTS CS FAv AAv Pts% W/L
Home 10 5 2 3 19 13 +6 2 3 1.90 1.30 60.0 +2
Away 8 4 3 1 16 12 +4 2 1 2.00 1.50 68.8 +3
All 18 9 5 4 35 25 +10 4 4 1.944 1.389 63.9 +5


Billy Walker - Match Record - By Type of Match
Type P W D L F A GD FTS CS FAv AAv Pts% W/L
British Championship 13 4 5 4 17 17 =0 4 3 1.308 1.308 50.0 =0
Friendly 5 5 0 0 18 8 +10 0 1 3.60 1.60 100.0 +5
All 18 9 5 4 35 25 +10 4 4 1.944 1.389 63.9 +5


Billy Walker - Match Record - Tournament Matches
British Championship Competition
Type P W D L F A GD FTS CS FAv AAv Pts% W/L
BC 1920-21 1 1 0 0 2 0 +2 0 1 2.00 0.00 100.0 +1
BC 1921-22 3 1 1 1 2 2 =0 1 1 0.667 0.667 50.0 =0
BC 1923-24 1 0 1 0 1 1 =0 0 0 1.00 1.00 50.0 =0
BC 1924-25 3 2 0 1 5 4 +1 1 0 1.667 1.333 66.7 +1
BC 1925-26 3 0 1 2 1 4 -3 2 1 0.333 1.333 16.7 -2
BC 1926-27 2 0 2 0 6 6 =0 0 0 3.00 3.00 50.0 =0
BC All 13 4 5 4 17 17 =0 4 3 1.308 1.308 50.0 =0
All Competition
Type P W D L F A GD FTS CS FAv AAv Pts% W/L
BC 13 4 5 4 17 17 =0 4 3 1.308 1.308 50.0 =0
All 13 4 5 4 17 17 =0 4 3 1.308 1.308 50.0 =0


Billy Walker - Match History
 Club: Aston Villa F.C. - 18 full appearances

F.A. International Select Committee - 18 full capsx

Age 22
1 123 23 October 1920 - England 2 Ireland 0, Roker Park, Sunderland BC HW Start 47 cf
Age 23
2 127 22 October 1921 - Ireland 1 England 1, Windsor Park, Belfast BC AD Start il
Age 24
3 128 13 March 1922 - England 1 Wales 0, Anfield Road, Liverpool BC HW Start il
4 129 8 April 1922 - England 0 Scotland 1, Villa Park, Birmingham HL Start il
Age 25
- 133 14 April 1923 - Scotland 2 England 2, Hampden Park, Glasgow BC AD reserve
5 135 21 May 1923 - Sweden 2 England 4, Stockholms Olympiastadion, Stockholm tour AW Start
22, 75
6 136 24 May 1923 - Sweden 1 England 3, Stockholms Olympiastadion, Stockholm AW Start il
Age 26
7 140 12 April 1924 - England 1 Scotland 1, Empire Stadium, Wembley BC HD Start 60 il
8 142 22 October 1924 - England 3 Ireland 1, Goodison Park, Liverpool BC HW Start 70 il
Age 27
9 143 8 December 1924 - England 4 Belgium 0, The Hawthorns, West Bromwich Fr HW Start
10 144 28 February 1925 - Wales 1 England 2, Vetch Field, Swansea BC AW Start il
11 145 4 April 1925 - Scotland 2 England 0, Hampden Park, Glasgow AL Start il
12 146 21 May 1925 - France 2 England 3, Stade Olympique Yves-du-Manoir, Paris Fr AW captain
gk 76
13 147 24 October 1925 - Ireland 0 England 0, Windsor Park, Belfast BC AD Start il
Age 28
14 148 1 March 1926 - England 1 Wales 3, Selhurst Park, South Norwood BC HL Start 47 il
15 149 17 April 1926 - England 0 Scotland 1, Old Trafford, Manchester HL captain il
16 151 20 October 1926 - England 3 Ireland 3, Anfield Road, Liverpool BC HD Start il
Age 29
17 152 12 February 1927 - Wales 3 England 3, The Racecourse, Wrexham BC AD Start 20 il

gap of 5 years and 298 days...

Age 35
18 184 7 December 1932 - England 4 Austria 3, Stamford Bridge, Fulham Fr HW captain il