Bishop Auckland, County Durham born goalkeeper Bill Bradley began his football career with Dunston Wednesday in 1909 and played for Fatfield Albion in 1910 and Jarrow Caledonians in 1911 before he signed for Southern League Portsmouth in March 1912, making his Southern League debut at Norwich City in October 1912 and making 13 appearances before returning to play for Jarrow in 1913. He then signed for First Division Newcastle United for £300 in April 1914 where he was understudy to Jimmy Lawrence but didn’t make his Football League debut until after The First World War when he played against Preston North End in November 1919.
He was consistently Newcastle’s first choice goalkeeper for the first five post war seasons making 143 appearances in the First Division and was in goal as Newcastle won the 1924 FA Cup at Wembley beating Aston Villa with two late goalsin the Final. However he lost his place to Willie Wilson in August 1925 and subsequently moved to Ashington in May 1927, for whom played 37 times over the next two seasons before going non league with North Shields in February 1929.
NB the photograph shows Bradley coming to punch clear in a match against Arsenal, most likely at Highbury on 25th August 1923, a game Newcastle won 4-1. The Arsenal player is forward Andrew Young. The Newcastle defender covering Young is Frank Hudspeth.