Preston, Lancashire born right half Wilf Gillow joined hometown club Preston North End in 1910 from Lancaster Town, whom he had joined as a teenager in 1907, but didn’t make The Lambs’ first eleven before joining Fleetwood Town in 1911. A year later he joined Second Division Blackpool, making his Football League debut against Barnsley in October 1912. Playing at inside left, he scored 3 goals in 26 appearances in his first season but only appeared twice more the following season before re-joining now Second Division club Preston in 1914, for whom he scored once in 3 matches before the suspension of peacetime football due to the onset of the First World War in May 1915.
In 1918 he had a loan spell with Scottish League club Partick Thistle, but he returned to Deepdale on the resumption of peacetime football and having converted to right half made 4 more appearances before joining Grimsby Town in February 1920. He scored 5 goals in 108 games for Grimsby over two spells, he joined Lancaster Town for the 1922-23 season before returning to Blundell Park, before taking over as Grimsby’s player-manager in June 1924, He oversaw their promotions to the Second Division in 1926 and to the First Division in 1929, before leaving in May 1932 after their relegation back into Division Two. In March 1934 he became manager of First Division Middlesbrough, and remained their manager until his death exactly ten years later in March 1944 aged 51.
He was also a useful cricketer and played Minor Counties cricket for Lincolnshire having been on the Lancashire groundstaff in the years immediately after the First World War.