Felton Billy Image 4 Tottenham Hotspur 1933

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Description

Heworth, Tyne & Wear born right back Billy Felton played junior football for Wardley Colliery Welfare in 1919 and Jarrow in 1920 before Grimsby Town signed him in May 1921, with his Football League debut coming at Wigan Borough that September. After 46 appearances in less than two seasons at Blundell Park he signed for Sheffield Wednesday in December 1922 for £1,500. While at Wednesday he received his solitary England cap playing in a 3-2 win over France in Paris in May 1925. The following season Wednesday won the Second Division Championship when Felton formed a full back pairing with Ernie Blenkinsop, which helped Wednesday claim the Second Division title by three points over Derby County. Once in the First Division, Felton lost his regular place to Tommy Walker who had been signed from Bradford City in March 1926. Although Felton remained at Hillsborough for three more seasons, his appearances were now infrequent and, in March 1929 he was transferred to Manchester City. In his six years with Wednesday, he made a total of 164 appearances in all competitions.

Felton spent three years at Maine Road. In 1929-30 he was paired up with John Ridley as City finished the season in third place, although they were thirteen points behind the Champions, Felton’s former club, Sheffield Wednesday. In March 1932, Felton played for Manchester City in an FA Cup semi final against Arsenal at Villa Park. In the final minute of the match Felton lost possession of the ball to Arsenal forward Jack Lambert who set up Cliff Bastin for the winning goal. Though earlier in the match Felton had prevented a goal by clearing an Alex James shot off the line, he was deemed responsible for the defeat, and never played for the club again, being transferred days later to Second Division club Tottenham Hotspur. In total Felton made 83 appearances for Manchester City.

At Tottenham, he became club captain and in 1932-33 he missed only one match as he led the club to promotion as Second Division runners-up. Once back in the First Division, Felton again lost his place, this time to Fred Channell and at the end of the 1933-34 season he was placed on the transfer list. In his two years at White Hart Lane he played a total of 75 games for Spurs, scoring once from a penalty, in a 1-1 draw with Arsenal on 11th September 1933.

Spurs had been looking for a transfer fee of £1,000 for Felton, but eventually accepted an offer of £500 from Altrincham of the Cheshire County League. Felton made his debut for Altrincham in an FA Cup tie against Timperley Athletic. He was immediately appointed team captain and went on to help Altrincham clinch the runners-up spot in the Cheshire League for the next two seasons. At Moss Lane he was a near ever-] present during his five seasons. Rarely injured, he led the side with dedication and total professionalism. Playing primarily as a left back he was just as comfortable on the right. He took on the responsibility as Altrincham’s “dead ball” specialist, even though he had only scored one goal in his professional career. Unusually, he even managed to score a hat trick against Hurst in an 8-1 win, two of the goals being penalties and the third a free kick.

Unfortunately, after finishing second in the League in successive seasons (1934-35 & 1935-36), Altrincham started to struggled to survive financially. Felton was appointed player-coach for his final season (1938-39) before retiring just prior to his 39th birthday and with the onset of the Second World War. In his five seasons at Moss Lane, he made a total of 210 appearances for Altrincham, scoring 17 goals.

His cousins included Sam Barkas (Bradford City, Manchester City and England), Tommy Barkas (Halifax Town), Ned Barkas (Huddersfield Town, Birmingham and Chelsea) and Harry Barkas (South Shields, Gateshead and Liverpool).

 

 

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