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BILL SOUTER 1931-2012

Former Chester player Bill Souter died at the end of August at the age of 81. The Dundee-born full-back played 51 league games for the club between 1957 and 1960 and our condolences go out to his family and friends.

Bill started his career playing junior football in the Dundee area as a centre forward but it was as a full back that he broke into the professional game. After an unsuccessful trial with Bury he signed for Burnley in 1951 and remained as a fixture in the Clarets reserve team for six years without ever breaking into the first eleven. Bill joined Chester in June 1957 as an intended replacement for Ray Gill who was coming to the end of his career and made his debut at left back, against Tranmere Rovers, in the first game of the season.

After playing in the first 12 games Bill lost his place to Gill but started the following season as first choice left back in what was Chester’s inaugural season in the old Fourth Division. During this period he was a member of the side that won the Lancashire Cup for the only time. In the final, Bill lined up against many of his old team mates as Chester beat Burnley by a single goal. In March 1959 Bill scored his only league goal for the club in a 4-3 defeat at Carlisle.

The following season Bill only featured twice with his final game taking place in March 1960 when Chester won 1-0 at Gateshead. At the end of the campaign Bill signed for Bangor City where he had a successful three years. In his first season at Farrar Road he was a member of the team that beat Chester 3-1 in a Welsh Cup Sixth Round game and went on to win a runners-up medal as Bangor were beaten by Swansea Town. The 1961/62 season saw Bangor go one better and Bill obtained a Welsh Cup winners medal when the Citizens beat Wrexham 3-1 in the final.

That Welsh Cup victory meant that Bangor represented the principality in the 1962/63 European Cup Winners Cup where they were desperately unlucky to lose to Italian club Napoli in the First Round. Although Bangor won the first leg 2-0 they lost the second leg 3-1 in Italy. In those days away goals did not count double if the tie finished level on aggregate and a third game was held at Arsenal which the Citizens lost 2-1.

In 1963 Bill joined Colwyn Bay for three seasons followed by a further two years at Dolgellau and then a spell at Bethesda. He was still playing football in his 40s and spent a short time as player manager of Machynlleth before leaving the game in the mid 1970s. After leaving the professional game Bill worked for both Chester and Ellesmere Port Council as well as a civil engineering firm.

Chas Sumner [8/9/12]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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