Stoke d’Abernon, Surrey born left winger Billy Gaughan joined Southern League Cardiff City in 1911 and scored on his debut in a friendly against Treharris in March 1912. He did well enough to earn a move to First Division Manchester City in 1914, making his Football League debut for them in a 2-0 win at Notts County in October 1914. He made 10 appearances that season before peacetime football was suspended due to the First World War, during which he served in The Welsh Regiment, attaining the rank of Second Lieutenant.
After the War he returned to South Wales to join Football League newcomers Newport County in the close season of 1919, spending a season in their Southern League team before The Ironsides themselves joined The Football League. He played in Newport’s inaugural League game against Reading in August 1920 and went on to score 8 goals in 103 appearances over their first four League seasons before retiring from the professional game in 1924, his overall record with Newport County, where he was known for his reluctance to head the ball which was assumed to be due to a wartime head injury, showing 14 goals in 149 appearances in all competitions.