William (Billy) Swan Simpson was born in Cowdenbeath on the 1st May 1907. A footballer who played left half (midfield).
Billy’s football career began with him playing for a number of non-league clubs, including Donibristle Colliery in 1923, Cowdenbeath YMCA 1924, White Rose 1925, Dunbar in 1926 and Musselborough Bruntonians 1927 .
Billy joined The Scottish League with Clyde F.C. in 1928 and spent 3 years at Shawfield Stadium. He Joined Bridgeton and Glasgow Shamrock & Thistle No.275 while at Clyde.
The following year, he travelled south and signed for English First Division side Aston Villa the fee being £1000. Billy made his debut against Chelsea in January 1932, he only managed one other appearance that season. He spent 4 seasons at Villa Park but he was mainly a back up player making 29 league appearances and managing to score one league goal against Blackpool in March 1933..
A piece of Aston Villa memorabilia from around 1932
In 1935 Billy moved back to Scotland and signed for Cowdenbeath. He played at Central Park for the ‘Blue Brazil’ for 2 seasons.
He joined Northampton Town in 1936 and ended up being an ever present in the 1936-37 season before signing for Walsall FC at the end of the season.
Billy played ar Wallsall until the break out of the Second World War. Billy is credited for scoring in Wallsall’s 4-0 victory against Gateshead in the FA cup on the 27th November 1937. He made 79 appearances for the Saddlers scoring 6 times.
After the war he joined non league Bromsgrove Rovers in 1945.
William Shaw Simpson died in 1990 aged 83
Extract from the Lodge Minute book.
October 1st 1929 The Bridgeton & Glasgow Shamrock and Thistle Lodge No.275
An application was read out during the regular meeting on this date for Mr William Swan Simpson. William’s occupation was given as ‘Professional Footballer’
William “Billy” Swan Simpson
Born 1st May 1907, Cowdenbeath
Initiated – 22nd October 1930
Passed – 5th November 1930
Raised – 11th December 1930
Mark Ceremonial – 6th May 1931
Taken from the history of Bridgeton and Glasgow Shamrock & Thistle history book.
Thank you to Past Master Alan Frame and the brethren of 275 for the copy.