Edwards Billy “Fluffy” Image 1 Newport County 1921

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Description

Builth Wells, Brecknockshire born outside right Billy “Fluffy” Edwards began his football career with Knighton Town and joined Birmingham & District League club Shrewsbury Town in 1912, playing for Southern League club Brentford in 1913, before joining Watford in 1914 where he didn’t play for the first eleven, and later the same year he played for Llanelly, prior to his career being interrupted by the First World War. In July 1915, nearly a year after the outbreak of the First World War, Edwards enlisted in The Royal Flying Corps as an air mechanic 1st class. He was later promoted to the rank of Leading Aircraftman. During the War he also played as a wartime guest for Watford in 1916-17, scoring 14 goals in 28 matches, also appearing for Fulham and Queens Park Rangers in 1917 and playing 10 matches for Brentford in 1917-18.

On the resumption of peacetime football Edwards was on the books at Fulham in 1919-20, again without making the first team. He joined newly elected Third Division (South) club Newport County in August 1920, making his Football League debut against Bristol Rovers the next month, and he played 30 games in their inaugural Football League season before top scoring for them with 10 goals in 1921-22, when he missed only two matches.

In January 1923, after 12 goals in 84 appearances in South Wales, having filled all five forward positions, he joined Second Division high flyers West Ham United in a swap deal that saw Billy Charlton move the other way, however he didn’t make his West Ham debut until March and played only the once in contributing to their promotion to the First Division, and wasn’t selected for their 1923 FA Cup Final appearance. He finally got a decent run in the side from that November, scoring 3 goals in 27 games in 1923-24. However he lost his place and managed only 11 more matches for West Ham over the following two seasons, before joining non league Hereford United in 1926 after 3 goals in 39 appearances for The Irons. Edwards played four seasons in the Birmingham Combination and the Birmingham & District League for The Bulls, scoring 28 goals in 88 appearances before his retirement in 1932.

After retiring from football, Edwards, along with his brother, served as a director of Hereford United. He later became a successful bowls player and won the English Triples Championship in 1950.

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