Caistor, Lincolnshire born Bill “Cockles” Appleyard began playing junior football with Cleethorpes Town in 1898, joining Cleethorpes Rovers in 1899 and Grimsby Tradesmen in 1900. He then joined First Division Grimsby Town, making his Football League debut at Blackburn Rovers on Christmas Day 1901, and scored a hat-trick later that season against Aston Villa, his nickname “Cockles” a reference to a previous job he had as a fisherman. He found fame and success with Newcastle United, for whom he signed in April 1903 after 20 goals in 48 appearances for The Mariners. During his five years with The Geordies he scored double figures numbers of goals each season and won the League Championship with them in 1905 and 1907, as well as being part of their FA Cup Final teams of 1905 (losing to Aston Villa) and 1908 (losing to Wolverhampton Wanderers). He also scored in their 1907 Sheriff of London Shield win over The Corinthians, which they won by 5 goals to 2. He was called into the England squad in April 1908 for the match against Scotland at Hampden Park but was a non playing reserve. He left the Newcastle through injury in the summer of 1908 after 88 goals in 146 appearances, and briefly joined Oldham Athletic in June 1908, making 4 appearances for The Latics before re-joining Grimsby Town in November that year, scoring twice in 13 further appearances before spending the 1909-10 season with Mansfield Mechanics before retirement.