Findlay Bill Image 1 Third Lanark 1922

Findlay Bill Image 1 Third Lanark 1922


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Wishaw, Lanarkshire born right half Bill Findlay began his football career with Preston Grange Athletic in 1921 and played for Musselburgh Bruntonians in 1922 before joining Scottish League Third Lanark in June 1923. After a season with The Warriors he had impressed enough for First Division Liverpool to spend £2,500 on his signature in August 1924, but he spent 1924-25 unable to get into the first team at Anfield, before joining newly promoted Second Division Champions Leicester City in May 1925, making his Football League debut at Newcastle United that September.

However he was a fringe player during his first two seasons at Filbert Street before breaking into the team in September 1927, and he played 28 matches during their 1927-28 campaign when they finished third in the League Championship, and 19 matches the following season as they went one better, finishing runners up, Leicester’s highest all time League position until their 2016 Premier League win. He remained at Leicester until he signed for Watford for “a substantial fee” in June 1932 after 104 appearances for The Foxes.

He was a near ever present for Watford in his first season, missing just one game, and he missed only 5 games a season in 1933-34 and 1934-35, before losing his place in January 1936, when he played his last of 141 matches for The Hornets, scoring 6 goals for them. He became Watford’s assistant manager in April 1937 under Neil McBain, before he unexpectedly began the following season in charge as acting manager, although another four months were to elapse before he was confirmed permanently in the post in January 1938.

Findlay remained as Watford’s manager throughout the Second World War, during which he turned out occasionally in emergencies, on the last occasion aged nearly 45, before leaving the club in February 1947. He joined Edgware Town as their manager in May, as well as being a practising masseur and manipulative therapist, and was still their manager when he died on holiday in Leicestershire in June 1949, at the age of only 49.

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