James Billy Image 1 Portsmouth 1920

James Billy Image 1 Portsmouth 1920


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Stockton born winger Billy James began his football career with junior club Eston United in 1909 and joined First Division Middlesbrough in 1910, making his Football League debut against Aston Villa in April 1911. He scored 9 goals in 22 appearances in 1911-12 but found opportunities limited and joined Southern League Portsmouth in May 1913 after a total of 27 games for ‘Boro.

At Portsmouth he played both sides of World War One, guesting for Leeds City in 1916 during wartime competition, and he was a member of Portsmouth’s Southern League Championship winning team of 1920, he also played in their inaugural Football League match against Swansea Town in August 1920 but he was transferred to Second Division West Ham United in January 1921 after 42 goals in 123 appearances across Southern League, Football League and FA Cup for Pompey.

He scored 7 times in 57 appearances for The Hammers through till April 1922 (it is possible his career was cut short by injury as he was a first team regular until that time).

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