Billy Longdon

Billy Longdon

Billy Longdon’s career at the Goldstone corresponded almost exactly with the Second World War emergency period, his appearances were confined to nine games in the 1945-46 F.A. Cup competition and 101 in the regional wartime competitions. In seven years with Albion he never made an appearance in the regular Football League.

An amateur with Mansfield Town’s reserves in 1937-38, Billy moved on to Southern League Folkestone, but signed for Brentford in January 1939 and played for their reserves for the rest of the season. At the end of the campaign he arrived in Hove, but war broke out the following September and the Derbyshire- born half-back enlisted with the Metropolitan Police Reserve and subsequently joined the R.A.F. He also turned out for the Albion whenever available, though, and guested for another eight clubs.

Although usually a half-back, Billy enjoyed a long run in the no. 7 shirt during 1945-46, but he was transferred to Bournemouth at the end of the campaign. After nine appearances in his one season at Dean Court, he moved north to Rochdale in July 1947 where he had just two first team outings before moving into the Southern League with Tonbridge a year later. In the Spartan days of early post-war Britain, Billy would often travel down to the Goldstone from his Midlands home on a Friday evening and sleep in the old West Stand. In a nation then dominated by shortages, he also had the reputation of being able to lay his hands on almost anything. Indeed, he managed the impossible: obtaining a brand-new football for Harry Baldwin’ son’s birthday!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *