Billy McCullough

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For the communist and trade unionist, see William McCullough (Northern Ireland politician).
Billy McCullough
Personal information
Full name William James McCullough
Date of birth (1935-07-27) 27 July 1935 (age 81)
Place of birth Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland
Height 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Playing position Left back
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
0000–1958 Portadown
1958–1966 Arsenal 253 (4)
1966–1967 Millwall 19 (0)
Bedford Town
Cork Celtic
Derry City
National team
1961–1966 Northern Ireland 10 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

William James "Billy" McCullough (born 27 July 1935) is a Northern Ireland former footballer.

Born in Carrickfergus, McCullough first played for Portadown, before being signed in 1958 by London club Arsenal. A left back, he soon made his debut for the club, against Luton Town on 26 December 1958. He only played ten matches that season, but after Len Wills was moved to right back at the start of 1959-60, McCullough became Arsenal's' regular left back.

McCullough became known for his consistency and fitness – he wore the No. 3 shirt for Arsenal for the next six seasons, missing only a handful of matches. Although Arsenal had reached third place in his first season at the club, for the rest of his career in the side the club dwelled in mid-table and never challenged for honours.

He won his first cap for Northern Ireland in a friendly against Italy on 25 April 1961, which Northern Ireland lost 3-2. He went on to appear ten times for his country, scoring no goals, with his final cap coming against England in a 2-0 defeat on 22 October 1966.

By 1965-66, McCullough had competition for his place, in the shape of the young Peter Storey. When Bertie Mee took over at Arsenal at the end of that season, looking to build a young side, he transfer listed the 31-year-old McCullough during the close season. He had played 268 matches in total for Arsenal, scoring 4 goals. He was sold to Millwall in August 1966, and later had spells at Bedford Town, Cork Celtic and Derry City.


  • Harris, Jeff (1995). Hogg, Tony, ed. Arsenal Who's Who. Independent UK Sports. ISBN 1-899429-03-4.