Billy Betts


Born: 1864, Sheffield
Died: 8th August 1941
First Game: 6th January 1883
Final Game: 13th April 1895
Career Span: 12 years 98 days
Career Performance: Played 80 Won 39 Drawn 9 Lost 32
Success Rate: 54.00%

Wednesday Playing Record

                  LEAGUE        FA CUP        TOTAL       
 Season         Apps  Goals   Apps  Goals   Apps  Goals
1882-1883         0      0      3      0      3      0
1884-1885         0      0      2      0      2      0
1887-1888         0      0      5      0      5      0
1888-1889         0      0      4      0      4      0
1889-1890         0      0      5      0      5      0
1890-1891         0      0      3      0      3      0
1891-1892         0      0      2      0      2      0
1892-1893        26      0      3      1     29      1
1893-1894        22      2      4      0     26      2
1894-1895         1      1      0      0      1      1

  Total          49      3     31      1     80      4

Billy Betts was an accomplished all-round sportsman of the late Victorian era. As a cricketer he played with the Yorkshire Colts, whilst as a footballer he played for England once and many times for the Sheffield FA.

A Pitsmoor product, he began as a full-back and came to the fore with Parkwood Rovers and Clarence FC before helping Pye Bank win the Sheffield Challenge Cup in 1882. It was then that he first played with Wednesday, but he left to assist Lockwood Brothers, helping them win both the local cup tournaments in 1884 and being in the side that took the mighty West Brom to a replay in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup in 1887.

He rejoined Wednesday at the beginning of the Olive Grove era and had the distinction of playing in the club's first FA Cup Final, the first game with Sheffield United, and the first Football League match. Betts was a strong, fearless player with a reputation for being quick-tempered, his abilities making him the natural successor to Tom Brandon as captain.

As one of the 'old school' of players brought up in the 'kick and rush' era, he was admired as a veteran because he was able to adapt to the more scientific style which came in with the 1890's. Known as 'Old Warhorse', he survived in the first team until 1895 whan Crawshaw's arrival signalled the end of a great career. Bett's benefit match in April 1894 brought gate receipts of 56 10s 9d. He was the grandfather of Dennis Woodhead.


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Stuart Jackson