Billy Hughes (footballer, born 1918)

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Billy Hughes
Personal information
Full name William Marshall Hughes
Date of birth (1918-03-06)6 March 1918
Place of birth Llanelli, Wales
Date of death 16 June 1981(1981-06-16) (aged 63)
Place of death Birmingham, England
Height 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Playing position Left back
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1934–1935 Llanelli
1935 Swansea Town (loan)
1935–1947 Birmingham 104 (0)
→ (wartime) 49 (0)
1940–1941 Blackpool (guest) 8 (0)
1940–1941 Swansea Town (guest) 1 (0)
1942–1943 Fulham (guest) 2 (0)
1942–1945 Chester (guest) 50 (19)
1947–1948 Luton Town 31 (0)
1948–1951 Chelsea 93 (0)
1951–1954 Hereford United
1954–1955 Flint Town United
National team
1937–1947 Wales 10 (0)
→ (wartime) 14 (0)
1944 FA Combined Services XI
1944 Royal Air Force XI
1947 Great Britain XI 1 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

William Marshall "Billy" Hughes (6 March 1918 – 16 June 1981) was a Welsh professional footballer who played as a left back. He made 169 appearances in the First Division for Birmingham and Chelsea. As an international, he won 10 full caps for Wales and also played for a Great Britain XI in 1947.


Club career[edit]

Born in Llanelli, Hughes joined Birmingham from Llanelli A.F.C. in 1934 and made his first-team debut in January 1936 when still only 17; by the time he was 19 he was a regular first choice. He was mature for his age and was described as a ball-winning defender who tried to use the ball constructively once he won it.[1] During the Second World War he made 49 wartime league appearances for Birmingham. While serving in the Royal Air Force he made guest appearances for Blackpool, Swansea Town, Fulham and Chester.[2][3] In all he played 110 senior games for Birmingham before joining Luton Town; eight months later they sold him for £12,000 to Chelsea, for whom he also played more than 100 games. He then moved to Hereford United, who were then playing in the Southern League, followed by Flint Town United, with whom he won his only major club honour, the Welsh Cup, in 1954.[4]

International career[edit]

Hughes made his international debut for Wales on 30 October 1937 in a 2–1 win over Scotland; he was only 19 and played alongside Birmingham clubmates Seymour Morris and Dai Richards. From that match until the outbreak of the Second World War, Hughes was an ever-present in the Welsh side.[5] He also played in 14 of Wales' 17 wartime and Victory internationals,[6] and later captained the team during the 1947 British Home Championship.[7] In 1944 he toured France and Belgium with an FA Combined Services XI.[8] On 25 November 1944, at Hillsborough, he also played for a Royal Air Force XI in a 7–1 defeat against Scotland. His teammates on the day included, among others, Stanley Matthews, Stan Mortensen, Raich Carter and Frank Soo.[9] In 1947 he also played for a Great Britain XI against a Rest of Europe XI to celebrate the return of the Home Nations to FIFA.[10][11]

Later years[edit]

After retiring from playing, Hughes scouted for Chester. He died in Birmingham in 1981 at the age of 63.[12]


with Wales
with Flint Town United


  • Hayes, Dean P. (2004). "1946–49: Rebuilding". Wales: The Complete Who's Who of Footballers Since 1946. Stroud: Sutton Publishing. p. 4. ISBN 0-7509-3700-9. 
  • Billy Hughes at Post War English & Scottish Football League A–Z Player's Database
  1. ^ Matthews, Tony (1995). Birmingham City: A Complete Record. Derby: Breedon Books. pp. 99, 178–81. ISBN 978-1-85983-010-9. 
  2. ^ Sumner, Chas (1997). On the Borderline: The Official History of Chester City 1885–1997. p. 60. ISBN 1-874427-52-6. 
  3. ^ Rollin, Jack (2005). Soccer at War 1939–45. Headline. ISBN 0-7553-1431-X. 
  4. ^ "Welsh Cup Final 1953/54". Welsh Football Data Archive. Retrieved 3 March 2008. 
  5. ^ "Welsh international matches". Welsh Football Data Archive. Retrieved 18 October 2007. 
  6. ^ "Welsh wartime international matches". Welsh Football Data Archive. Retrieved 18 October 2007. 
  7. ^ Brown, Alan (13 March 2001). "England – Scotland – International Matches 1946–1950". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation (RSSSF). Retrieved 18 October 2007. 
  8. ^ Courtney, Barrie (21 March 2004). "England – War-Time/Victory Internationals – Details". RSSSF. Archived from the original on 22 September 2008. Retrieved 18 October 2007. 
  9. ^ Keith, John (2004). Billy Liddell: The Legend Who Carried the Kop. Anova Books. ISBN 1-86105-804-7. 
  10. ^ "British Associations return". FIFA. Retrieved 20 July 2017. 
  11. ^ "England Player Honours – International Representative Teams". England Football Online. Retrieved 18 October 2007. 
  12. ^ Matthews, Tony (October 2000). The Encyclopedia of Birmingham City Football Club 1875~2000. Cradley Heath: Britespot. p. 116. ISBN 0-9539288-0-2.