Fencehouses, County Durham born inside right Billy Brown began his career with local junior club Hetton, and joined West Ham United, a club he had played for as a 16-year-old guest during World War One, from Hetton in 1921. He made his Football League debut in the final match of the 1920-21 season, a scoreless away game against South Shields on 7th May 1921. Brown often featured as a utility player, but played inside right, partnering Dick Richards, in the 1923 “White Horse” FA Cup Final against Bolton Wanderers, which West Ham lost 2-0 in front of at least 200,000 spectators. A month later, he was a reserve as England played an international against France on their 1923 summer European tour. He gained his only England cap against Belgium in a 2-2 draw in Antwerp in November the same year, playing at inside right.
He had made 71 appearances and scored 20 goals for the East London club before leaving for Chelsea in February 1924, but despite scoring 4 times in the run in he couldn’t help save them from relegation. He spent the next four seasons largely on the fringes at Stamford Bridge and went on to join Fulham in May 1929 after 21 goals in 57 appearances for Chelsea, spending a single season at Craven Cottage but only playing twice, before joining Stockport County in July 1930, making another four League appearances.
He then returned to his native County Durham with Hartlepools United in September 1931, for whom he scored 3 times in 13 appearances during 1931-32. He later played non league football for Annfield Plain in 1932 and Blackhall Colliery Welfare in 1933. He also became an accomplished cricket player for Blackhall Colliery Welfare in the North Yorkshire & South Durham Leagues.
NB in the photograph he stands alongside West Ham team mate and centre forward Vic Watson.