Bill Julian

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Bill Julian
John William Julian.jpg
Bill Julian in 1912
Personal information
Full name John William Julian
Date of birth 10 July 1867
Place of birth Boston, Lincolnshire, England
Date of death 14 March 1957(1957-03-14) (aged 89)
Place of death Enfield, London, England
Playing position Wing half
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1885–1889 Boston Town
1889–1892 Woolwich Arsenal
1892–1894 Luton Town
1894–1895 Tottenham Hotspur
1895–1896 Dartford
Teams managed
1921–1922 Feyenoord
1922–1926 Willem II[1]
1927–1928 GVAV[2]
1928–1929 Be Quick 1887
1932–1934 MVV
1936–1938 Willem II
1939–1940 N.E.C.
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

John William "Bill" Julian (10 July 1867 – 14 March 1957) was an English football player and coach.


Born in Boston, Lincolnshire, he first played for his local side Boston Town before moving to Royal Arsenal in 1889, following a match between the two on Good Friday of that year. He played in Arsenal's very first FA Cup tie, against Lyndhurst on 5 October 1889, and soon earned a reputation as a determined and tough-tackling wing-half. He became club captain in 1890, and was still captain when Arsenal turned professional in 1891.[3]

However, he was replaced as Arsenal captain in October 1891 by new arrival Sandy Robertson (who had previously played for Preston North End's 1888–89 Double-winning side), and although assured of a place in the first team, he decided to step down to the reserves. In the summer of 1892, he moved to Luton Town, to become the club's captain and coach. He played 4 FA Cup ties and 71 other senior matches for Woolwich Arsenal.

After two years at Luton, he joined Tottenham Hotspur (thus making him the first person to play for both Spurs and Arsenal, albeit long before the latter moved to north London in 1913), and played in Spurs' very first FA Cup tie, a first qualifying match against West Hertfordshire, on 13 October 1894; Spurs won 3–2.[4] He left Tottenham in 1895, and finished his career at Dartford. He later opened a sports shop in Plumstead and became the first British ladies team coach in 1895. Julian remained loyal to Woolwich Arsenal, going back to work for the club during the Boer War.[3]

Julian retained his footballing ties after retiring from playing, and some time after 1906 moved to the Netherlands to coach there, with his sons Joseph and Harry, who both also coached a number of teams in the Netherlands. Among the clubs he coached for were MVV, VVV, PSV and HFC Haarlem, and he was head coach at first HBS and then Feijenoord between 1921 and 1922; he left Feijenoord after the club were unable to pay his wages.[5] He later managed at Willem II[5] and was also at the helm of GVAV,[6] Be Quick 1887 [7] as well as N.E.C.[8] before he returned to England in 1940 to live in Enfield, London.

He was one of the longest-surviving members of Arsenal's first professional side, along with Gavin Crawford and Jack McBean. The three were reunited at an Arsenal game against Chelsea on 20 March 1948 (by which time Arsenal were one of the leading sides in English football), an event recorded in The Official Illustrated History of Arsenal.[9] He lived until the age of 89, dying in Enfield in 1957, outliving both Crawford and McBean to make him the last surviving member of Arsenal's first professional team.




  1. ^
  2. ^ GVAV Stats
  3. ^ a b c "John William Julian". The Straw 
  4. ^ "October 13th". Archived from the original on 17 April 2007. Retrieved 2007-04-07. 
  5. ^ a b "Bill Julian". 
  7. ^ "Be Quick trainers". Be Quick Archived from the original on 7 July 2012. 
  8. ^ De Trouwe Honden Archived 4 October 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
  9. ^ Soar, Phil & Tyler, Martin (2005). The Official Illustrated History of Arsenal. Hamlyn. p. 27. ISBN 0-600-61344-5. 


  • Harris, Jeff (1995). Hogg, Tony, ed. Arsenal Who's Who. Independent UK Sports. ISBN 1-899429-03-4. 
  • Roper, Alan (2004). The Real Arsenal Story: In the Days of Gog. Wherry. ISBN 0-9546259-1-9.