Billy Jones (footballer, born 1881)

William Henry Jones (24 March 1881 – 15 March 1948), also known as Bullet Jones[1] and the Tipton Smasher,[3] was an English professional footballer who played as a centre forward for Small Heath (renamed Birmingham in 1905) in the Football League and for Brighton & Hove Albion in the Southern League.[4]

Billy Jones
Bullet Jones.jpg
Pictured in 1910
Personal information
Full name William Henry Jones
Date of birth (1881-03-24)24 March 1881
Place of birth Tipton, England
Date of death 15 March 1948(1948-03-15) (aged 66)
Place of death Hove, England
Height 5 ft 5 in (1.65 m)[1]
Position(s) Centre forward
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
Smethwick Town
1899–1901 Halesowen
1901–1909 Small Heath / Birmingham[a] 183 (77)
1909–1912 Brighton & Hove Albion 85 (42)
1912–1913 Birmingham 53 (22)
1913–1927 Brighton & Hove Albion 71 (21)
Total 392 (162)
*Club domestic league appearances and goals


Jones was born in Tipton, Staffordshire. He played for Smethwick Town and for Birmingham & District League club Halesowen before turning professional with Small Heath, newly promoted to the Football League First Division, in 1901.[3] He was their leading scorer for four successive seasons, from 1903–04 to 1906–07,[5] and his performances were rewarded in 1904 with selection for the Football League representative team which played against the Irish Football League.[6] Jones then suffered a series of injuries, the team's form declined, and, believing the player to be past his best, the club, now named Birmingham, released him at the end of the 1908–09 season.[3]

Jones joined Brighton & Hove Albion of the Southern League. He was top scorer for that club in both his full seasons, with 22 and 19 goals respectively in all competitions.[7] He contributed to them winning the 1910 Southern League championship and the 1910 FA Charity Shield, in which they beat Aston Villa, champions of the Football League, and scored the winning goal in the 1910 Southern Professional Charity Cup. Nevertheless, when Birmingham wanted to re-sign him in January 1912, the form of Jimmy Smith meant that Albion's directors were willing to let him go for a £300 fee.[1][8]

Jones again top-scored for Birmingham in 1912–13,[9] bringing his total for the club to 102 goals from 253 appearances in all competitions, before returning to Brighton in the summer.[3]

In October 1914, Jones played for a Southern League representative team against the Scottish League; the game, played at Millwall's ground in London, finished as a 1–1 draw.[10] By January 1915, Jones, like many of his teammates, had enlisted in the Football Battalion of the Middlesex Regiment. They trained at the White City in London, were released at weekends to play for their clubs,[11] and Jones finished the season – the last completed before the Football League was suspended for the duration of the First World War – as Albion's top scorer for the third time.[7] He returned to the club after the war, played his last competitive first-team match in December 1919, at the age of 38 years and 271 days,[12] and continued to appear occasionally for the reserves until as late as 1927. He performed various roles for the club, as assistant trainer, scout and groundsman. He retired after the death of his wife in 1947, and the following March, he died in hospital after being discovered in a gas-filled room.[1]


Small Heath

Brighton & Hove Albion


  1. ^ Small Heath was renamed Birmingham ahead of the 1905–06 season.[2]


  1. ^ a b c d Carder, Tim; Harris, Roger (1997). Albion A–Z: A Who's Who of Brighton & Hove Albion F.C. Hove: Goldstone Books. pp. 128–29. ISBN 0-9521337-1-7.
  2. ^ "Small Heath". Football Club History Database. Richard Rundle. Retrieved 10 April 2020.
  3. ^ a b c d Matthews, Tony (1995). Birmingham City: A Complete Record. Derby: Breedon Books. p. 102. ISBN 978-1-85983-010-9.
  4. ^ Joyce, Michael (2004). Football League Players' Records 1888 to 1939. Nottingham: SoccerData (Tony Brown). p. 143. ISBN 978-1-899468-67-6.
  5. ^ Matthews, pp. 150–53.
  6. ^ Matthews, p. 246.
  7. ^ a b Carder & Harris, Albion A–Z, p. 338.
  8. ^ Carder, Tim; Harris, Roger (1993). Seagulls! The Story of Brighton & Hove Albion F.C. Hove: Goldstone Books. pp. 54–56. ISBN 0-9521337-0-9.
  9. ^ Matthews, p. 159.
  10. ^ Carder & Harris, Seagulls!, p. 322.
  11. ^ Carder & Harris, Seagulls!, p. 68.
  12. ^ Carder & Harris, Seagulls!, p. 320.