Billy McAdams

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William "Billy" John McAdams (born 20 January 1934 in Belfast; died October 2002 in Barrow-in-Furness) was a Northern Irish footballer. McAdams played in the inside forward position. On leaving school at 15, he took an apprenticeship as a heating engineer and played as an amateur. At 17, he went to Burnley for a successful three-month trial but his father wouldn't agree to the terms offered. So he went back to Ireland where he signed professional forms for Distillery (Charles Buchan's Football Monthly, Jan 1967). He then played for Manchester City between 1953 and 1959 making 127 appearances and scoring 61 goals. This was in spite of not kicking a ball for two years because of a back injury which caused him to miss two FA Cup Finals.

He then signed for Bolton Wanderers who hoped he could be successor to Nat Lofthouse. In his first season with the team he scored 18 goals in 27 appearances. Don Revie brought him to Leeds but he only stayed briefly before forming part of an all-International inside forward line at Brentford for the 1962-3 season. Brentford won the 4th Division Championship with McAdams scoring 22 goals in 34 League appearances (Brentford Official Handbook 1963-4). He then went on to score goals for Queens Park Rangers and Barrow whom he assisted to gain promotion from Division Four at the end of the 1966-67 season, the first of two at Holker Street. He also won 15 caps for Northern Ireland scoring 7 goals in the process. Most memorably, he scored 3 goals in a 1960 World Cup Qualifier against West Germany although Northern Ireland lost the match 4-3 (NIG Blog Archive; also Charles Buchan's Football Monthly Jan 1967). Terry Neill (Revelations of a Football Manager1985), in remembering his own Northern Ireland days, refers to McAdams as one of "'the toothless ones', those players who had a habit of leaving their false teeth lying around... We called him 'Rocky' because of his scarred appearance. Most of his scars came from footballing injuries, but the worst was caused when he leaned forward in his car one day to change the station on his radio and crashed."

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