Kingdon Billy Image 3 Aston Villa 1933

Kingdon Billy Image 3 Aston Villa 1933


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Worcester born right half Billy Kingdon played junior football for Kepex of Worcester in 1923 and in the Birmingham and District League for Kidderminster Harriers in 1924, from where he joined Aston Villa, initially on amateur forms in August 1925, turning professional in March 1926. He made his Football League debut against Burnley in September 1926, soon establishing himself in the first eleven. Between 1930 and 1932, after four seasons of being a first team regular, Kingdon lost his place, playing only 4 times in two seasons. But he regained his place in November 1932 and remained in the team for most of the rest of his Villa career.

In his time at Villa Park, Villa were moderately successful, finishing runners-up in the League Championship  twice, in 1930-31 and 1932-33, and a third place in 1928-29 when Kingdon had his most productive season, playing 44 times during the campaign. Kingdon was part of their teams that reached the FA Cup semi final in both 1929, as Villa lost to Portsmouth at Highbury, and in 1934 as Villa lost to eventual winners Manchester City at Leeds Road, Huddersfield.

From the mid 1930’s there came a period of decline, culminating in their relegation in 1935-36, Villa thereby becoming the last of the founder members of the Football League to lose their top flight status for the first time. After the relegation Kingdon left Villa in the summer of 1936 to join Southampton after 5 goals in 242 appearances.

At Southampton he displayed “a nice line in distribution and looked to be an asset”. In 1936-37 he formed a useful partnership with fellow half-backs Bill Kennedy and Cyril King and only missed one game, although Southampton struggled near the bottom of the Second Division. He briefly became club captain until, in September 1937, new manager Tom Parker acquired the services of Scottish international Frank Hill, who had won the Football League three times with Arsenal.

Hill immediately took over both the captaincy and after Hill’s arrival, Kingdon only made one further appearance. In January 1938 joined Yeovil & Petters United as player-manager after a single goal in 49 appearances for The Saints. He remained with Yeovil for the duration of the Second World War, but left in 1946. In 1947 he accepted the position as manager at Weymouth, a position he held until 1948.

NB in the photograph Kingdon is on the left of team mate Eric Houghton.

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