Light Billy Image 1 West Bromwich Albion 1936

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Light Billy Image 1 West Bromwich Albion 1936


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Woolston, Southampton born goalkeeper Billy Light played his youth football for the works teams from the local shipyards, John I. Thornycroft & Company and Harland & Wolff. In May 1932, he joined Second Division Southampton as an amateur, signing his first professional contract in September 1933. He made his Football League debut in a 1-0 victory over Swansea Town on 5th February 1934, replacing long-serving keeper Bert Scriven. However in only his fourth match, against Hull City at The Dell on 24th February, he displaced his left knee cap in a collision, putting him out of the game for several months.

He eventually returned to the team in March 1935 and retained his place for the rest of the 1934-35 season, and continued as the first choice custodian for the start of The Saints’ Golden Jubilee season, making 33 appearances during 1935-36. By now, he had gained a reputation as one of the country’s leading goalkeepers and in March 1936, with the club in financial difficulties, he was sold to First Division West Bromwich Albion for a fee of £2,000 after 46 appearances for Southampton, causing “a storm of protest” among the club’s fans.

At The Hawthorns, Light was understudy to England international Harold Pearson and in his three years with The Baggies, he only made 30 appearances in all. In a League match at Stoke City on 4th February 1937, he conceded 10 goals in Albion’s record defeat in the Football League.

After their relegation in 1938 Light left The Hawthorns and joined non league Colchester United that June, and after the Second World War he finished his playing career with a spell at Clacton Town in 1946.  He later returned to Colchester United as a coach and trainer, and remained at Layer Road until his retirement in June 1968.


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