Jarrow, County Durham born winger Billy Simpson played for Howdon British Legion in 1926 and Jarrow in 1927 before joining the books of Sheffield Wednesday in January 1928, without making a first team appearance. Having returned to Jarrow he was signed by Third Division (North) Barrow in June 1929 and made his Football League debut against New Brighton the same August, scoring in a 3-0 victory. However he found opportunities at Barrow limited and after two goals in only 8 appearances he returned to non league football with Washington Colliery before the year end.
He soon came to the attention of Second Division Nottingham Forest who signed him at the beginning of April 1930 and he played 3 times before the season end. He became a regular in the Forest first eleven over the next seven seasons, playing throughout in the Second Division, and eventually after 39 goals in 243 appearances for Forest, he re-joined non league Jarrow in the summer of 1937, playing a single season before moving to North Shields. His career was then effectively finished by the advent of the Second World War.