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BILLY WINDLE 1920-2011

One of Chester’s most popular players of the 1950s, Billy Windle, died recently at the age of 91 and our condolences go out to his wife Beryl and all his family and friends.

Billy was born in Maltby, Yorkshire and started his football career as an amateur with Sheffield United before the war. After serving in the army he returned to football with Kilnhurst Colliery in the Yorkshire League. He signed for Leeds United in October 1947 but after only two appearances moved on to Lincoln City early in 1948. Billy proved to be an instant success at Sincil Bank, scoring six goals in 13 games, as Lincoln were promoted to Division Two at the end of the season. Included in his tally were a hat-trick against Gateshead and one of the goals in a 4-2 victory over Chester. Although he was nominally an outside left it was a flexible forward line at Lincoln and he scored 22 goals in 91 appearances for the Imps

It was Frank Brown who brought Billy to Sealand Road early in the 1951/52 campaign and the diminutive winger made the first of his 127 league appearances at Bradford PA in October 1951. Known for his speed and crossing ability Billy played as an out and out winger at Sealand Road where he linked up with Ray Gill on the left hand side of the pitch. In January 1952 he was a member of the Chester team that was unlucky to be defeated by Chelsea in the FA Cup Third Round in front of a record attendance at the old Stadium. Billy also played in two Welsh Cup Finals for the club, in 1953 and 1954, picking up a runners-up medal on both occasions. He played his last game for Chester, against Barnsley, in April 1955 and started the following season with Caernarvon in the Welsh League.

Billy’s next port of call was New Brighton, who were then in the Lancashire Combination. In 1956/57 the Rakers reached the Fourth Round of the FA Cup beating Stockport, Derby County (the eventual Third Division North champions) and Torquay United on the way. The Torquay tie proved particularly memorable for Billy, who scored both New Brighton goals, and he was the centre of national press attention before the Fourth Round game at Burnley, where the Rakers were heavily defeated.

In 1959 Billy joined Oswestry Town and remained there for a season before retiring from the playing side of the game. At the end of the 1960s, when Ken Roberts was manager at Chester, he had a year helping run the Reserves in the Cheshire County League. In fact, on one notable occasion, he came out of retirement to play for the second string in the snow at Frickley Colliery at the age of 47.

Billy continued to live in Chester after leaving the club and worked for a short period at Manweb before spending 11 years employed at the steelworks.

Chas Sumner

Chas Sumner [14/11/11]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

© 1997-2010 Steve Mansley | User Stats | Technical | Webmaster
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