Willington, Northumberland born right back Bill Ashurst started his football career at junior club Willington in 1913 before joining Durham City in 1914, and after the First World War, during which he served with The Royal Field Artillery (Tank Corp), he joined the soon to be defunct Leeds City in the 1919 close season but never played for their first team, signing for Second Division Lincoln City for £500 in the auction of their players in October 1919, making his Football League debut against Clapton Orient the same month, and playing 24 games for The Imps in 1919-20 before signing for Second Division Notts County for £1,000 in June 1920.
He won promotion to the First Division and a Second Division Championship medal with The Magpies in 1923, when he missed only one League game, and five England caps followed between May 1923, when he made his debut on England’s summer tour to Scandinavia in a 4-2 win over Sweden in Stockholm, and April 1925, when he played in a 2-0 defeat to Scotland at Hampden Park, as well as representing The Football League once in a 6-2 victory over The Irish League in Belfast in September 1923.
He was part of Notts County’s 1922 FA Cup semi final team that lost to eventual winners Huddersfield Town at Turf Moor, but lost his regular place in The Magpies’ first team during their relegation season of 1925-26. After 222 games at Notts County he signed for West Bromwich Albion for £3,100 in November 1926, but after a single season which saw 23 appearances, as well as his only career goal, he left the professional game to join Newark Town in August 1928 before joining Brentwood Colliery. Having retired in 1930, he came out of retirement to play for Bestwood Colliery in 1933.
His younger brother Elias was also a right back who played for Birmingham City in the 1920’s.