Rotherhithe, Surrey born outside right Billy Warnes began his football career with Cambridge University Mission in 1922 and played for both Nunhead and West Norwood in 1923, joining Woking in 1924. He joined the books of Arsenal in the late 1920’s and was part of their London Combination Championship winning team of 1928-29, scoring 37 goals in 89 Combination matches for The Gunners during his time at Highbury, He also won England amateur international honours when selected for all three internationals in the 1930-31 season, making his debut in a 3-1 defeat to Ireland at Cliftonville Gardens, Belfast in November 1930, then scoring twice as England beat Wales 5-0 at Dean Court, Bournemouth in February 1931, winning his final cap in a 2-1 win over Scotland at Stamford Bridge the next month.
He made his Arsenal debut, and only appearance, in a famous 2-0 FA Cup defeat against Walsall in January 1933 and made the switch to Norwich City in May 1933, where he made his long awaited Football League debut against Clapton Orient in August 1933, scoring in a 3-0 victory, already aged 25. He scored 24 goals in his maiden season for The Canaries, including a hat-trick against Charlton Athletic in November 1933, joint topping their goalscoring charts with Jack Vinall as Norwich won the Third Division (South) Championship, and he was a regular during his four seasons at The Nest, scoring 49 goals in 118 appearances before joining Aldershot in the summer of 1937. He had a single season with The Shots, scoring twice in 26 appearances, before retiring in 1938.
He was the son of Rube Warnes, a former amateur boxing champion.