Billy Walker (English footballer)
William Henry Walker (29 October 1897 – 28 November 1964) was a prominent English footballer of the 1920s and 1930s. He is considered by many to be the greatest footballer to ever play for Aston Villa Football Club and one of the greatest players to have played for England. As a manager he won the FA Cup with each of Sheffield Wednesday and Nottingham Forest, some 24 years apart, a record to this day.
|Full name||William Henry Walker|
|Date of birth||29 October 1897|
|Place of birth||Wednesbury, England|
|Date of death||28 November 1964(aged 67)|
|Place of death||Sheffield, England|
|Height||6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)|
|Playing position||Inside forward|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
Walker was born in Wednesbury, Staffordshire. He joined Villa in 1914 and stayed at Villa Park for the rest of his playing career, retiring in 1934.
He made 531 appearances for Villa between 1914 and 1934, scoring 244 goals, of which 214 came in 478 league matches. He remains Aston Villa's all-time top goalscorer to this day. He was an FA Cup Winner with Villa in 1920, and runner up in 1924. Walker is the only player to have scored a hat-trick of penalty kicks in a Football League game, doing so against Bradford City in November 1921.
In March 2003, nearly 40 years after his death, he was named by BBC Sport as the former player Aston Villa needed in their modern-day team – who were struggling for goals that season and narrowly avoided relegation from the FA Premier League (top flight of English football).
He became manager of Sheffield Wednesday in December 1933, and he successfully steered them away from relegation. In 1935 he led them to an FA Cup victory, but Wednesday were relegated two years later and Walker resigned in November 1937.
On 24 January 1938, Walker was appointed secretary-manager of newly formed club Chelmsford City. Walker's first signings as Chelmsford manager included former England international Eric Keen, Ireland international Jackie Coulter and Jack Palethorpe, whom he had managed at Sheffield Wednesday. On 20 October 1938, Walker resigned from Chelmsford due to conflict with Chelmsford's directors over transfers. Walker had intended to sign a player from Plymouth Argyle for free, before discovering a £500 fee was demanded, believing "that money was going to take a lot of finding" from the club.
He managed Nottingham Forest from 1939 to 1960, bringing promotion to the First Division in 1956–57 and an FA Cup final triumph two years later (beating former team Aston Villa in the semi-finals), becoming the only manager to win the trophy both before and after the second World War. He died in November 1964, four years after retiring as Nottingham Forest manager.
Honours as playerEdit
Honours as managerEdit
- Winner: 1935
- Winner: 1959
- Runners-up: 1956–57
- Champions: 1950–51
- Runners-up: 1959
- "Billy Walker". englandstats.com. Retrieved 11 September 2009.
- "Walker, William Henry (Billy)". Aston Villa Player Database. Jörn Mårtensson. Retrieved 11 September 2009.
- Butler, Bryon (1998). 100 Seasons of League Football. England: Queen Anne Press. p. 392. ISBN 1852915951.
- Fordyce, Tom (24 March 2003). "Blast from the past: Part one". BBC News.
- Stuart Jackson. "Billy Walker". adrianbullock.com. Retrieved 7 April 2012.
- Don Wright (15 October 2016). Clough and Walker: Forest's Greatest Managers. Amberley Publishing.