Great players: Billy Telford

Centre forward Billy Telford started his career with Manchester City. He was the leading goalscorer for Ottawa Tigers in the N.S.L. in 1977 and 1978.

William Albert Telford was born on March 5, 1956 in Carlisle, Cumbria, England. He spent his youth career with Tranmere Rovers. In August 1975 he signed as a professional for English First Division club Manchester City. After only one league appearance for Manchester City he moved to Peterborough United in September 1975.

His debut for Peterborough came in a game against Aldershot on September 13, 1975 in the English Third Division. Billy scored with his first kick 13 seconds after coming on as a substitute at half time. Billy played in four league games and scored two goals for Peterborough in the 1975-1976 season.

Billy spent January 1976 on loan at Colchester United. He scored one goal in two league games for Colchester in the English Third Division.

In August 1976 Billy joined non-league side Runcorn but moved to Bangor City in December 1976. Billy ended up scoring 20 goals for Bangor City during the 1976-77 season.

In April 1977 Billy signed for Ottawa Tigers in the National Soccer League. Billy made his NSL debut in Ottawa Tigers’ opening game of the 1977 season on May 15. Billy was one of the goalcorers in the 3-0 win over Mississauga Hungaria in front of 800 fans at Lansdowne Park in Ottawa.

On Sunday June 5 Billy scored four goals in Ottawa Tigers’ 8-1 win over Bradford Marshlanders in Bradford in the National Soccer League. By the end of June Billy was Tigers’ leading goalscorer with nine goals.

Billy ended the season as the leading goalscorer in the NSL Second Division with 25 goals. He scored 23 goals in the regular season and added two more in the playoffs. Ottawa Tigers’ win in the playoffs earned them promotion to the NSL First Division.

He returned to Bangor City in the beginning of October 1977. Billy formed a lethal partnership with fellow striker Tony Broadhead. In combination the pair scored more than 70 goals for Bangor during the 1977-78 season.

In May 1978 Bill returned to Ottawa Tigers in National Soccer League First Division. On June 4 Bill scored three goals in a 5-1 win over Buffalo Blazers in Buffalo. All the way through the season Bill was Tigers’ leading goalscorer. He ended the season having scored 15 league goals.

Billy playing against touring Scottish team Hibernian on June 2, 1978. Hibernian won 7-0 in Ottawa. Photo from the Ottawa Journal, June 3, 1978.

Ottawa Tigers finished seventh in the eleven-team league. After the 1978 season Tigers folded.

Billy returned to England where he played for non-league sides Worcester City, Macclesfield and Oswestry Town.

Sources:
British Newspaper Archives
newspapers.com
NSL Media Guides
Football League Players’ Records 1946-1988 by Barry J. Hugman

One comment

  1. Loved taking a trip down memory lane. By far my favourite period in my footballing career. Lovely place , people and memories. Thank you for this. I have been approached to write a book on my career and other experiences I had after football. Kindest regards Bill

    Like

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