Matthews Billy Image 1 Chester 1905

Matthews Billy Image 1 Chester 1905


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Rhyl, Flintshire born half back Billy Matthews played for hometown Combination club Rhyl from where he joined fellow Combination club Chester in 1904. It was during his first spell at Chester that he was awarded his first cap for Wales when he played in a 2-2 draw against Ireland at Solitude, Belfast in April 1905. He returned to Rhyl for the 1906-07 season but re-joined Chester in the 1907 close season, and won his second and final cap for Wales in a 7-1 defeat to England at The Racecourse Ground, Wrexham in March 1908.

Matthews helped Chester win The Combination Championship in 1908-09, as well as the Welsh Cup in 1908, Chester beating Connah’s Quay & Shotton in the Final at Wrexham, and was a runner up in both the 1909 and 1910 Finals which were both lost to Wrexham. He continued to play for Chester until the onset of the First World War forced the suspension of peacetime football in May 1915, and later that year he enlisted in The Royal Welsh Fusiliers, but ultimately served as a Shoeing Smith with The Royal Field Artillery. Although he played for Chester until 1919, in April 1921 aged only 38, Matthews died of heart disease related to his War service and was buried in Christleton near Chester.

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