Morpeth, Northumberland born outside or inside right Billy Thompson began his football career with Grangetown Athletic in 1904 from where he joined First Division Middlesbrough, making his Football League debut against Bolton Wanderers in December 1905, scoring twice in a 4-4 draw. He made 5 more appearances for ‘Boro that season without scoring any further goals but was released and joined non league Morpeth Harriers in the summer of 1906. He returned to Football League action with Second Division West Bromwich Albion, scoring on his debut against Fulham in April 1908 and helping them to promotion as Second Division Champions in 1910-11, but after 6 goals in 57 appearances he left the club in the 1911 close season to join Sunderland, where he had a brief spell without making their first eleven and also had a spell with Glasgow junior side Rutherglen Glencairn. He then had a spell with Southern League Queen’s Park Rangers.
In May 1913 Thompson joined PlymouthArgyle as a half-back. He couldn’t find a regular place in the first team though, playing only 4 times, and left after the 1913-14 season, returning to the North East again, this time to join South Shields. After the First World War he returned to Queen’s Park Rangers in 1919, and in the summer of 1920 joined newly elected Third Division (South) club Newport County, playing in their inaugural League fixture against Reading and making 18 appearances for County during the course of the 1920-21 season. He then returned to the north east to join Hartlepools United, making one appearance for them in October 1921 in a defeat at Walsall before joining non league Jarrow in 1922 prior to his eventual retirement.