Kilnhurst, Yorkshire born centre forward or inside left William Shaw began his football career with Frickley Colliery in 1919 from where he signed for First Division club Bradford City in the 1921 close season, making his Football League debut at Burnley that September. He scored 4 goals in 11 matches in his debut season but couldn’t help The Bantams avoid relegation at the end of the season, and played 5 more matches for Bradford City in the Second Division the following season before a transfer to Third Division (North) club Chesterfield in the summer of 1923. However he was a fringe player at Saltergate and only made 3 appearances for The Spireites in the first half of the season before moving to Midland League club Scunthorpe & Lindsey United in the summer of 1924.
Shaw returned to Football League action with Third Division (South) club Southend United in May 1925, where he scored 20 goals in 39 matches including a hat-trick in a 3-0 win over Bournemouth & Boscombe Athletic at The Kursaal in February 1926. Despite being The Shrimpers’ top goalscorer, Shaw returned north after a single season to join Midland League club Gainsborough Trinity that summer, where he scored 70 league goals in the 1927-28 season, setting a Midland League record, as Trinity won the Midland League Championship.
In 1928 he was signed by First Division club Cardiff City for £500, and played twice during October for The Bluebirds against Leicester City and Manchester United, but returned to Gainsborough Trinity the following month, helping them finish runners up in defence of their title. Shaw then joined fellow Midland League club Mansfield Town in February 1930, scoring 4 goals in 8 matches before the season end, his final club before his eventual retirement.
NB in the photograph Shaw stands in the middle flanked by Bradford City’s fellow new signings Willie Watson (left) and Norman Winn.