Shotts, Lanarkshire born left half Willie Telfer began his football career with Blantyre Celtic and joined Scottish League Motherwell in 1929, where he soon teamed up with Hugh Wales and Allan Craig to form the half back line that brought considerable success to The Steelmen in the early 1930’s, when they won the Scottish League Championship in 1931-32, finishing as runners-up in 1929-30, 1932-33, and 1933-34, as well as reaching the Scottish Cup Final in 1931, 1933 and 1939. In the first two of these Finals they were defeated by Celtic, and in 1939 by Clyde. Telfer played in all three Finals. Indeed he was also part of their left flank, with Motherwell legends George Stevenson and Bobby Ferrier, that was so well regarded and instrumental to The ‘Well’s considerable success during the period.
Described as “a brainy half back”, he won two caps for Scotland, being selected against Ireland in a 4-0 win at Windsor Park, Belfast in September 1932, and against the same opponents exactly a year later when Scotland lost 2-1 at Parkhead. He also won inter league honours when he represented The Scottish League in a 4-1 victory over The Irish League at Ibrox in October 1932.
He left Fir Park with the onset of the Second World War and appeared during 1939-40 as a wartime guest for Airdrieonians and during 1940-41 for Dumbarton.