West Hartlepool, County Durham born outside left Bill Hastings began his football career with Greenbank in 1904 and played for West Hartlepool in 1905, playing for West Hartlepool Expansion in 1906, from where he signed for Southern League club Brighton & Hove Albion in 1908. Most notably he helped Brighton win the 1909-10 Southern League Championship and also was a member of the Albion team that won the 1910 FA Charity Shield when they beat League Champions Aston Villa 1-0 at Stamford Bridge that September. It was Hastings who set up Charlie Webb’s goal as Albion beat Aston Villa. In the five years that the Charity Shield was contested by the winners of the Football League and Southern League between 1908 and 1912, this was the only occasion on which the Southern League Champions prevailed. The victory remains Brighton & Hove Albion’s only national honour to date.
He was sold to Second Division club Birmingham for £100 in February 1912 after 11 goals in 85 appearances for The Seagulls, making his Football League debut against Wolverhampton Wanderers the same month, although he struggled to establish himself in The Blues’ first eleven, scoring 7 goals in 44 appearances before joining Southern League club Watford in 1914, with whom he again won the Southern League Championship in 1914-15, scoring 6 goals in 34 appearances for The Hornets, before the onset of the First World War forced the suspension of peacetime football in May 1915. After serving in the Royal Flying Corps during the conflict, Hastings returned home to play for Hartlepool Old Boys in 1919. He later became a referee.