Voisey Bill Image 2 Millwall 1920

Voisey Bill Image 2 Millwall 1920


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Isle of Dogs born wing half Bill Voisey started his football career with Glengall Rovers in 1906 and played for Millwall St John’s in 1907 before joining Southern League hometown club Millwall, making his debut for them in 1908 and playing for them both sides of World War One. During the First World War he was a sergeant in The Royal Artillery and for his bravery under fire he was awarded The Distinguished Service Medal, The Military Medal and Belgian Croix de Guerre. He served with the Royal Field Artillery at Passchendaele where he was mentioned in dispatches. The citation reads “He came to France with the Division, has frequently acted as Battery Sgt. Major and invariably displayed marked resource, particularly during the retirement after 21 March 1918 when the Battery sustained many casualties from hostile fire. His fine example and disregard of danger contributed largely to the withdrawal of men and guns. Has always set a fine example of courage and cheerfulness to all ranks”.

He was awarded one (unofficial) Victory international cap for England in October 1919 in a 2-1 defeat to Wales at Ninian Park, Cardiff. When peacetime football resumed in 1919 Voisey played a further season in the Southern League for Millwall before they joined The Football League in August 1920, with Voisey in their team for their inaugural Football League fixture against Bristol Rovers in August 1920. He was also twice selected for England’s full international squad, against Ireland in October 1919 and against Belgium in May 1921, however on both occasions he was a non playing reserve. He scored 3 goals in 84 appearances during Millwall’s first three Football League seasons before joining Bournemouth & Boscombe Athletic for their inaugural Football League season (when known simply as Boscombe) where again he played at Swindon in August 1923 in their first ever League fixture, scoring twice in 26 appearances for The Cherries before retiring from playing in 1924.

He became Millwall’s trainer and held the post for many years. Voisey coached the Great Britain team at the 1936 Berlin Summer Olympics. He later managed Millwall between 1940 and November 1944, and in May 1941, having only 10 players available, he selected himself aged 50 to play outside right in a London War Cup match for Millwall against West Ham, but was forced to retire as manager after sustaining injuries during a German air raid; he survived a direct hit on Millwall’s stadium when still inside.


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