Wellingborough, Northamptonshire born inside forward Billy Clayson began his football career with Northampton Compton and joined Wellingborough Town in 1921, from where he signed for Third Division (South) club Brentford, making his Football League debut against Gillingham in September 1922. He was a regular during three seasons at Griffin Park, scoring 19 goals in 87 appearances before a move to Crewe Alexandra in the summer of 1925.
He scored 12 goals in 37 matches for The Railwaymen in 1925-26 and was rewarded by a transfer to Second Division Barnsley, but he struggled at the higher level making only 10 appearances and scoring twice during 1936-27. A move to Chesterfield saw his most productive ratio as he bagged 11 goals in 23 games during 1927-28, but after a two year spell in the Midland League with Scarborough he returned to Football League action with Torquay United in the 1930 close season, scoring 28 goals in 80 appearances over the next two seasons before returning to Scarborough in 1932. His League career had a final twist as he joined York City in the summer of 1933, playing 7 further matches before once again returning to Scarborough in 1934 and playing for Scarborough Junior Imperial in 1935 where he subsequently finished his career.