Billy Walker (English footballer)

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Billy Walker
Personal information
Full name William Henry Walker
Date of birth (1897-10-29)29 October 1897
Place of birth Wednesbury, England
Date of death 28 November 1964(1964-11-28) (aged 67)
Place of death Sheffield, England
Height 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Playing position Inside forward
Youth career
1914–1919 Aston Villa
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1919–1933 Aston Villa 478 (214)
National team
1920–1932 England 18 (9)
Teams managed
1933–1937 Sheffield Wednesday
1938 Chelmsford City
1939–1960 Nottingham Forest
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

William Henry "Billy" Walker (29 October 1897 – 28 November 1964) was a prominent English footballer of the 1920s and 1930s.[1] He is considered by many to be the greatest footballer to ever play for Aston Villa Football Club and one of the greatest players to have played for England.


Walker was born in Wednesbury, Staffordshire. He joined Villa in 1914 and stayed at Villa Park for the rest of his playing career, retiring in 1934.

He made 531 appearances for Villa between 1914 and 1934, scoring 244 goals, of which 214 came in 478 league matches.[2] He remains Aston Villa's all-time top goalscorer to this day. He was an FA Cup Winner with Villa in 1920. Walker is the only-player to have scored a hat-trick of penalty kicks in a Football League game, doing so against Bradford City in November 1921.[3]

Walker played for England 18 times, scoring 9 goals.[1]

He became manager of Sheffield Wednesday in December 1933, and he successfully steered them away from relegation. In 1935 he led them to an FA Cup victory, but Wednesday were relegated two years later and Walker resigned in November 1937.[4]

He managed Nottingham Forest from 1939 to 1960, bringing promotion to the First Division in 1956–57 and an FA Cup final triumph two years later (Beating Villa in the semis), becoming the only manager to win the trophy both before and after the second World War. He was also the first Englishman to score at Wembley, when he scored against Scotland on 12 April 1924. He died in November 1964, four years after retiring as Nottingham Forest manager.

In March 2003, nearly 40 years after his death, he was named by BBC Sport as the former player Aston Villa needed in their modern-day team – who were struggling for goals that season and narrowly avoided relegation from the FA Premier League (top flight of English football).[5]

Career honours[edit]

Honours as player[edit]

Aston Villa[edit]

Football League First Division

FA Cup

Honours as manager[edit]

Sheffield Wednesday[edit]

FA Cup

Nottingham Forest[edit]

FA Cup

Football League Second Division

Football League Third Division (South)

FA Charity Shield


  1. ^ a b "Billy Walker". Retrieved 11 September 2009. 
  2. ^ "Walker, William Henry (Billy)". Aston Villa Player Database. Jörn Mårtensson. Retrieved 11 September 2009. 
  3. ^ Butler, Bryon (1998). 100 Seasons of League Football. England: Queen Anne Press. p. 392. ISBN 1852915951. 
  4. ^ Stuart Jackson. "Billy Walker". Retrieved 7 April 2012. 
  5. ^ Fordyce, Tom (24 March 2003). "Blast from the past: Part one". BBC News.