Eston, Cleveland born inside or outside right Billy Bottrill began his football career with South Bank and joined First Division club Middlesbrough in May 1921, making his Football League debut against Newcastle United on Boxing Day 1922. A fringe player at ‘Boro, he made 18 appearances for them over two seasons before a move to Third Division (North) club Nelson in June 1924. In his first season at Seedhill he helped Nelson finish runners up in the division, narrowly missing out on promotion, and displayed his goalscoring knack when scoring 16 goals in their 1925-26 campaign, including a run of 10 goals in 9 matches between January and March 1926.
After four seasons with Nelson, having scored 35 goals in 127 appearances for The Admirals, he joined Rotherham United in July 1928 and scored a hat-trick on his home debut in a 3-2 win over Lincoln City. He scored 11 goals in 31 appearances and was the only Millers player to make double figures over the campaign, during which they struggled and twice shipped double figures goals in matches. Bottrill left Millmoor to join York City in August 1929 for their first season in League football and he top scored for the club with 20 goals in 41 appearances including a hat-trick in a 4-0 win over Wigan Borough just before the year end.
His form for The Minstermen attracted Second Division club Wolverhampton Wanderers, under legendary manager Major Frank Buckley, to sign him in May 1930, and in his first season at Molineux he was second only to Billy Hartill in the goalscoring charts with 14 goals, then recording an impressive 22 goals, again behind Hartill, in their 1931-32 campaign as Wolves won the Second Division Championship.
A regular in Wolves’ maiden top flight campaign until losing his place in March 1933, Bottrill transferred to Huddersfield Town in the summer of 1933 after 45 goals in 109 appearances for Wolves, and in his first season at Leeds Road he played 1o matches, scoring once, as Huddersfield finished runners up to Arsenal in the League Championship. However having only played twice more early the next season he was transferred to Third Division (North) club Chesterfield in October 1934, where he scored 5 goals in 18 appearances for The Spireites before retiring at the end of the season.