Newcastle born inside right Billy Kirton started his football career with Pandon Temperance in 1917 and after having guested in one game against Grimsby Town in the Principal Tournament in October 1917 he signed with Leeds City after the end of the First World War in May 1919, making his Football League debut, and only appearance for Second Division Leeds City at Wolverhampton Wanderers on 4th October 1919 in their last ever Football League game, before being sold to Aston Villa for £500 the same month during their bankruptcy auction after the club was wound up due to financial irregularities.
He soon became a fixture in the Villa team and went on to play 261 times, scoring 59 goals for Villa over the following eight seasons, the highlight being his winning goal in the 1921 FA Cup Final win over Huddersfield Town at Stamford Bridge. He also appeared in the 1924 FA Cup Final when Aston Villa lost 2-0 to Newcastle United.
Kirton won his only England cap in October 1921, scoring in a 1-1 draw against Ireland at Windsor Park, Belfast.
However he lost his regular place in the Villa line up in April 1926 and only appeared 8 times in 1926-27, and not at all in 1927-28. He signed for Third Division (South) Coventry City in September 1928 making 17 appearances and later played for non league Kidderminster Harriers in September 1930, but only remained a month before joining Leamington Spa, retiring in 1931.