Arnold, Nottinghamshire born outside right Sidney William “Billy” Austin was sometimes known as Sam. He began his football career with Nottingham District League club Arnold United in 1918 and played for Arnold St Mary’s in 1919 before joining new League entrant Norwich City in October 1920, making his Football League debut at Bristol Rovers the same month. He immediately became a Canaries mainstay missing only 3 games over his four seasons at The Nest and he was an ever present scoring 14 goals in 1923-24, finishing as the club’s second top scorer by a single goal. His form brought him to the attention of First Division Manchester City who signed him for £2,000 in May 1924 after 39 goals in 164 appearances for Norwich City.
His move to the top flight proved seamless and he was selected for England in October 1925, playing in a 0-0 draw with Ireland at Windsor Park, Belfast, which proved his only international cap. He also made one appearance for The Football League. The season proved a bitter sweet one for Austin, he scored a career best 15 goals for City as they went to the 1926 FA Cup Final where they lost 1-0 to Bolton Wanderers at Wembley, and the same season they were relegated from the First Division. Austin stayed at the club and helped them win the Second Division Championship two seasons later. That season Austin took over in goal from Bert Gray in their FA Cup tie against Leeds United, and kept a clean sheet in a 1-0 win on 14th January 1928.
Back in the First Division, he missed only four games as they consolidated their position in 1928-29 finishing eighth. However he fell out of favour at Maine Road and didn’t play at all the following season, making 4 more appearances in the late autumn of 1930 before he joined non league Worcester City at the end of 1930 after 47 goals in 172 appearances for The Citizens.
He returned to Football League action joining Chesterfield in December 1931, and had two seasons at Saltergate scoring 7 goals in 51 appearances for The Spireites before joining non league Kidderminster Harriers in the summer of 1933. He subsequently joined the exodus of professional footballers to the French League and played for Racing Club de Roubaix in 1934. In November 1947, it was reported in the Norwich Press, that, as a 47 year-old, Austin was re-instated as an amateur and was playing for Brinton FC in the Kidderminister League.
NB in the image he appears to be wearing a Norwich City strip.