Appletongate, Newark, Nottinghamshire born inside forward Willie Hall played for Nottinghamshire Schools and began his football career with Newark YMCA and The Ransome & Marles Bearings Company of Newark in 1928, before he signed professional for his local club Notts County in November 1930 and made his Football League debut at soon to be defunct Thames Association in May 1931.
Within 18 months his 8 goals in 35 appearances for The Magpies had impressed enough for Tottenham Hotspur to pay £2,600 for his services in December 1932, and Spurs were promoted to the First Division at the end of the season with Hall playing 21 games as they finished Second Division runners up. He was an ever present in 1933-34 as Tottenham finished in third place in the League Championship.
In December 1933 he made his England debut against France in a 4-1 win at White Hart Lane, and in total he was awarded 10 caps through to his final cap, a defeat to Yugoslavia in Beograd in May 1939. Sensationally 5 of his 9 England goals came in England’s 7-0 win over Ireland in November 1938 with 3 of these within a 4 minute spell, the fastest ever hat-trick in international matches. He also played 3 times for The Football League.
Hall scored a career best 11 goals for Spurs in the final season before the outbreak of the Second World War in September 1939 forced the abandonment of peacetime football and he continued to play wartime football including playing one Wartime international for England, but retired through injury in 1944. He played 225 games for Spurs, scoring 29 goals. He briefly became manager of Clapton Orient in August 1945 but resigned through illness that December. Testimonial games were played at both Tottenham and Notts County grounds in 1946. Hall’s fame was enhanced on 16th February 1959, when he was chosen as the subject of This Is Your Life by BBC Television host Eamonn Andrews.
The Willie Hall Trophy is played each year by the Newark Football Alliance. He was inaugurated into the the Tottenham Hotspur Hall of Fame in 2006.
NB in the photograph Willie Hall shakes hands with Wally Alsford, watched by Tottenham team mate Foster Hedley.