Sunderland born centre half Bill Ellerington began his football career with Fatfield Albion and played for Darlington South Bank in 1911 before he joined North Eastern League club Darlington in 1911 and technically made his senior debut when Darlington played Bradford City in a January 1915 FA Cup First Round tie at Feethams, Darlington losing 1-0. The First World War then interrupted his career, and when peacetime football resumed Ellerington joined First Division Middlesbrough in May 1919, making his Football League debut against Oldham Athletic that August.
He was a regular in the ‘Boro line up until August 1923, when he lost his place in the first team, playing only 3 more matches for ‘Boro, and in June 1924 he joined Nelson after a single goal (in a win over Bradford City in October 1920) in 131 appearances for Middlesbrough. He stayed a single season in Lancashire, scoring twice in 28 matches, before moving to Southern League football in Wales, playing with Pontypridd and Mid-Rhondda United and Ebbw Vale in 1925, and he finished his career with Basingstoke Town after joining them in 1930.
He was the father of Bill Ellerington Jr, who played for Southampton and England immediately after the Second World War.