Billy Whitehurst

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Billy Whitehurst
Personal information
Full name William Whitehurst[1]
Date of birth (1959-06-10) 10 June 1959 (age 55)[1]
Place of birth Thurnscoe, England[1]
Height 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Playing position Striker
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1977–1978 Retford Town
1978–1980 Bridlington Trinity
1980 Mexborough Town
1980–1985 Hull City 193 (47)
1985–1986 Newcastle United 28 (7)
1986–1988 Oxford United 40 (4)
1988 Reading 17 (8)
1988 Sunderland 17 (3)
1988–1990 Hull City 36 (5)
1990–1991 Sheffield United 22 (2)
1990 Stoke City (loan) 3 (0)
1991–1992 Doncaster Rovers 22 (1)
1992 Crewe Alexandra (loan) 10 (0)
1992 St George-Budapest 11 (4)
1992 Hatfield Main
1992 Kettering Town 4 (0)
1992 Goole Town
1992 Stafford Rangers 2 (0)
1992 Mossley 2 (0)
1993 Glentoran 6 (4)
1993 South China 4 (1)
1993–1994 Voicelink
1994–1995 Frickley Athletic
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

William "Billy" Whitehurst (born 10 June 1959)[2] is a retired English professional footballer active during the 1980s and 1990s. Whitehurst's robust style of play attracted much notoriety and he is considered by many to have been the hardest player to have played the game.[3]

Career[edit]

Whitehurst was born in Thurnscoe and started his career playing for a number of semi-professional teams in South Yorkshire, Retford Town, Bridlington Trinity and Mexborough Town, whilst also working for the local council as a bricklayer.[3] He eventually made the move into the professional ranks with Hull City in 1980 signing for a £2,000 fee.[3] He initially struggled with the demands of the professional game but eventually sealed his place as one of the most popular players to have ever played for the club.[3] He helped the Tigers win promotion in 1982–83 and 1984–85 with Whitehurst scoring a career best of 24 goals.

His upturn in form had not gone un-noticed and he joined Newcastle United in 1985 as their then record signing for £232,000. Despite playing in a side containing Peter Beardsley and Paul Gascoigne, the move did not work out and Whitehurst failed to score in his first 11 appearances for the club. A spat with his own supporters signalled the end of his career on Tyneside and after playing only 28 league games he was transferred to Oxford United in 1986. However the move there was similarly short-lived, and Whitehurst left after a clash with assistant manager Ray Graydon.

He then joined Reading in February 1988 scoring eight goals in 19 matches for the Royals he left for Sunderland scoring three in 18 matches before making a return to Hull City. Whitehurst spent a year and a half back at Boothferry Park before joining Sheffield United. Whitehurst helped the Blades gain promotion in 1989–90 and spent a short time out on loan at Stoke City in 1990–91 where he played in five matches.[1] Whitehurst ended his professional career at Doncaster Rovers during which time he also played on loan for Crewe Alexandra.

However, Whitehurst's hard man persona and colourful off field antics ensured he always caused a reaction and cemented his place as something of a cult figure within the game. Whitehurst ended his playing days abroad, playing in Northern Ireland, Australia and in Hong Kong with South China (1992–93) before a long-standing knee injury caused his retirement in 1993.

After football[edit]

Since leaving the game Whitehurst has trained greyhounds, ran several public houses in his native South Yorkshire and worked in the building trade and in the stores at BP Saltend and Drax Power Station. In 2008, he was found guilty of benefit fraud and given a suspended prison sentence.[4]

Career statistics[edit]

Club Season League FA Cup League Cup Other[A] Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Hull City 1980–81 Third Division 26 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 26 1
1981–82 Fourth Division 36 6 5 2 2 0 3 1 46 9
1982–83 Fourth Division 36 3 2 0 2 1 3 1 43 5
1983–84 Third Division 37 10 2 1 2 0 5 0 46 11
1984–85 Third Division 40 20 1 0 3 3 2 1 46 24
1985–86 Second Division 18 7 1 0 3 2 3 3 25 12
Total 193 47 11 3 12 6 16 6 232 62
Newcastle United 1985–86 First Division 20 7 1 0 0 0 0 0 28 7
1986–87 First Division 8 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 10 0
Total 28 7 1 0 2 0 0 0 38 7
Oxford United 1986–87 First Division 20 2 1 0 0 0 1 2 22 4
1987–88 First Division 20 2 1 0 5 0 1 0 27 2
Total 40 4 2 0 5 0 2 2 49 6
Reading 1987–88 Second Division 15 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 15 6
1988–89 Third Division 2 2 0 0 2 0 0 0 4 2
Total 17 8 0 0 2 0 0 0 19 8
Sunderland 1988–89 Second Division 17 3 0 0 0 0 1 0 18 3
Total 17 3 0 0 0 0 1 0 18 3
Hull City 1988–89 Second Division 21 5 3 2 0 0 0 0 24 7
1989–90 Second Division 15 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 16 0
Total 36 5 4 2 0 0 0 0 40 7
Sheffield United 1989–90 Second Division 14 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 14 2
1990–91 First Division 8 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 9 0
Total 22 2 0 0 0 0 1 0 23 2
Stoke City (loan) 1990–91 Third Division 3 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 5 0
Total 3 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 5 0
Doncaster Rovers 1990–91 Fourth Division 13 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 13 1
1991–92 Fourth Division 9 0 2 1 2 2 0 0 13 3
Total 22 1 2 1 2 2 0 0 26 4
Crewe Alexandra 1991–92 Fourth Division 10 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 11 0
Total 10 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 11 0
Career Total 388 77 22 6 23 8 21 8 454 99
A. ^ The "Other" column constitutes appearances and goals in the Football League Group Cup, Football League Trophy, Full Members Cup.

Honours[edit]

Hull City
Sheffield United

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Lowe, Simon (2000). Stoke City The Modern Era – A Complete Record. Desert Island Books. ISBN 1-874287-39-2. [page needed]
  2. ^ Peterson, Mike (2005). A Century of City. Harefield: Yore Publications. p. 156. ISBN 0-9547830-7-7. 
  3. ^ a b c d "The Harder They Come: Big Billy Whitehurst". The Daisy Cutter. Retrieved 18 April 2013. 
  4. ^ "Footballer on a pounds 12k fraud rap". The Mirror. Retrieved 18 April 2013. 

External links[edit]