Billy Walker

Born: 29th October 1897, Wednesbury, Staffordshire.
Died: 28th November 1964, Sheffield.
Position: Centre-forward.
Height: 6ft.
Weight: 12st 5lb.

Playing Career

Aston Villa: May 1919 - November 1933.

Managerial Career

Manager: Sheffield Wednesday, December 1933 - November 1937.
Manager: Chelmsford City, January 1938 - October 1938.
Manager: Nottingham Forest, March 1939 - July 1960.


England International: 18 caps.
Division Two runners-up: 1957.
FA Cup winners: 1920, 1935, 1959.
FA Cup runners-up: 1924.

Billy Walker was an excellent player for both Aston Villa and England and won more caps in the 1920’ s than any other England player. After a gap of five years out of the England team he returned as captain against the Austrian Wunderteam in 1932. He scored two goals on his debut for Villa in a cup game against Queen’ s Park Rangers and four months later he was collecting a winners’ medal when they beat Huddersfield in 1920. Four years later he appeared in a second FA Cup final but this time Villa lost 2-0 to Newcastle. He is one of the few managers to have won the FA Cup with two different clubs – Wednesday & Forest.

When Walker arrived at Hillsborough in December 1933, Wednesday were struggling to keep out of the relegation zone. With his arrival the team went on an unbeaten 12 match run which took them to sixth in the table and they finished the 1933-34 season mid-table. In the 1934-35 season Walker continued with his successful start in management, in the league Wednesday finished in third place but that year will be remembered for the FA Cup and Wednesday’ s first Wembley victory. On the way to the final Ellis Rimmer scored in every round and the highlight of those games was a 2-1 victory at Hillsborough over an Arsenal side who were in the process of winning their third successive league championship. The 4-2 victory over West Bromwich Albion won the cup for Wednesday and it was to be over fifty years before they won another major trophy.

After the success of 1935 the next two seasons were extremely disappointing. In the 1935-36 season they narrowly avoided relegation but in the following season 1936-37 they lost their First Division place when they were relegated with Manchester United. After yet another poor start in 1937-38, Walker resigned after an angry confrontation with a group of shareholders.

After the short spell with Chelmsford City, he went on to a successful period of management with Nottingham Forest which was to last for over 20 years.

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Stuart Jackson