Manchester born full back (he played both sides) Billy Dale started his career with Sandbach Ramblers joining First Division Manchester United as an amateur in April 1925. He turned professional in May 1926 and made his Football League debut on 25th August 1928, playing at right back in a 1-1 draw with Leicester City at Old Trafford, although throughout his career he had significant spells at left back. In six years at United, Dale made 68 appearances for the club, before joining Manchester City in December 1931 with Harry Rowley. Bill Ridding plus a small fee going across town to United.
At City he formed a partnership at full back with Lawrie Barnett. He had a six year career in the blue of Manchester City, appearing 271 times without ever scoring, being in the City team that lost the 1932 FA Cup semi final to Arsenal at Villa Park. A year later he was on the losing side in the 1933 FA Cup Final when City lost to Everton but the following year he played as City won the 1934 FA Cup beating Portsmouth 2-1 in the Final at Wembley, and he missed only 6 games as City won the League Championship in 1936-37. Dale also played in the 1935 Charity Shield defeat to Arsenal and in the 1937 win over Sunderland.
One of the best uncapped full backs of his day, Dale was “cool and stylish, quick in recovery and cultured in distribution”. After Manchester City were relegated at the end of the 1937-38 season, he joined new Football League entrant Ipswich Town playing in their inaugural League fixture against Southend United in August 1938 before the Second World War brought his career to a halt after 47 appearances for the Portman Road outfit.
NB in the photograph he sits on the left with Manchester City team mate Laurie Barnett.