Willie Almond

Willie Almond : Blackburn Rovers

William (Willie) Almond was born in Blackburn on 5th April 1863. A defender he played for Witton before joining Blackburn Rovers in 1888.

The first season of the Football League began later that year in September, 1888. Preston North End won the first championship that year without losing a single match and acquired the name the "Invincibles". Blackburn Rovers, finished in 4th place, 14 points behind Preston.

At the beginning of the 1889-90 season Tom Mitchell, the club secretary, recruited four top players from Scotland: Tom Brandon, Johnny Forbes, George Dewar and Harry Campbell. These players joined local men such as Willie Almond, James Forrest, Herbie Arthur, John Barton, Billy Townley, Nathan Walton, Joseph Lofthouse, Jack Southworth, John Horne, Harry Fecitt and James Southworth.

Blackburn Rovers had little difficulty scoring goals that season. The team beat Notts County (9-1), Stoke (8-0), Aston Villa (7-0), Bolton Wanderers (7-1) and Burnley (7-1). Top scorers that season were Jack Southworth (22), Harry Campbell (15), Nathan Walton (14) and Joseph Lofthouse (11).

In the 1889-90 season Blackburn Rovers finished in 3rd place, six points behind Preston North End. They did even better in the FA Cup. On the way to the final they beat Sunderland (4-2), Grimsby Town (3-0), Bootle (7-0) and Wolverhampton Wanderers (1-0). However, Willie Almond, who played in the semi-final, lost his place in the final which Blackburn won 6-1.

Willie Almond scored three goals in 58 league games before joining Accrington in 1892. After playing only nine games for Accrington he joined Northwich Victoria. After only five games he joined Middlesbrough. He was now over 30 years old and found it difficult to get into the first-team. He now moved to London and played for Millwall and Tottenham Hotspur in the Southern League. Almond also turned out for Clapton and Wandsworth before retiring from the game.