Billy Barraclough

William (Billy) Barraclough was born in Hull on 3rd January 1909. An outside-left, he joined Hull City in 1927. He only played in nine games before he was signed by Major Frank Buckley, the manager of Wolverhampton Wanderers, in June 1928.

He joined a team that included Noel George, Dai Richards, Reg Hollingsworth, Billy Hartill and Charlie Phillips.

In the 1929-30 season Billy Hartill scored 33 goals in 36 games. This included all five against Notts County at Molineaux. Despite these goals Wolves could only finish in 9th place in the league.

The following season Wolves finished 4th in the Second Division. Billy Hartill was again top scorer with 30 goals in 39 appearances. Buckley added Tom Smalley for his first-team squad in 1931. He was a coalminer who had been playing his football for South Kirkby Colliery. Smalley was to develop into an important member of the team.

In the 1931-32 season Barraclough was a member of the team that won the Second Division championship. With a forward line that included Barraclough, Billy Hartill, and Charlie Phillips, the team scored 118 goals that season.

In August, 1933, Buckley purchased Bryn Jones from Aberaman for a fee of £1,500. Despite his great talent, Wolves finished in 15th place in the First Division in the 1933-34 season.

Major Frank Buckley sold Barraclough to Chelsea for £1,500 in October 1934. He has scored 18 goals in 172 appearances. He was not a success at his new club. As Tony Matthews points out in his book, Who's Who of Chelsea (2005): "Barraclough, who was only 5 ft 4 in. tall, realised his full potential at Molineux. A clever ball-player, he enjoyed taking on defenders but his directness somehow annoyed a section of the Stamford Bridge faithful."

Barraclough scored 11 goals in 81 games before finishing his career at Doncaster Rovers. During the Second World War he worked as a clerk in the Humberside Docks.

Billy Barraclough died in August 1969.