Whatley Bill Image 1 Tottenham Hotspur 1933

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Description

Ebbw Vale born left back Bill Whatley played junior football for Hayward Sports in 1929 before joining Ebbw Vale in 1930, from where he moved to London, playing for Tottenham’s nursery club Northfleet in 1931 alongside fellow Welshmen Taffy O’Callaghan and Ron Burgess, also playing for Barnet, before joining Second Division club Tottenham Hotspur as a professional in March 1932. He made his Football League debut against Nottingham Forest in September 1932 and was an ever present for the rest of the 1932-33 season as Spurs won promotion to the First Division, finishing Second Division runners up.

The following season he missed only two matches as Tottenham Hotspur finished in third place in the League Championship, and he was a regular in the seven seasons in the between his debut and the advent of the Second World War, although after their relegation in 1935 he spent the last four of those back in the Second Division. He scored twice, both penalties in the autumn of 1938 including the only goal in a win over Newcastle United that September, in 255 appearances for Spurs, albeit the emergence of a young Bill Nicholson was already threatening his first team place towards the outbreak of the War, Nicholson being preferred in Spurs’ last 6 peacetime matches either side of the summer prior to the declaration of war in September 1939.

Whatley was first capped for Wales in the 1938 British Home Championship when the Welsh won 4-2 against England at Ninian Park, Cardiff in October 1938. He won his second cap when he played alongside fellow Spurs team mate Ron Burgess against Scotland the following month as Wales shared the Championship. After War broke out he also played in an unofficial Wartime International match, again against England in a match drawn 1-1 in Cardiff in November 1939. He also won representative honours whilst serving with the Armed Forces.

After retiring as a player due to an ankle injury, he continued as a coach and scout for Tottenham Hotspur. After leaving Spurs he went on to manage Gravesend & Northfleet (now Ebbsfleet United) after he left Tottenham in April 1954.

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