A Welsh international winger, Billy Richards was noted for his speed and the accuracy of his crosses when he arrived at the Goldstone.
A product of the South Wales coalfield, he started out in the Southern League with Mid Rhondda United and progressed to the Third Division with Merthyr Town where he made a single Southern Section appearance as an amateur in March 1926.
Two months later he was recruited by Wolverhampton Wanderers, where he was soon joined by his younger brother and former Merthyr team-mate Dai who was to become one of the finest Welsh internationals of the inter-war years. Billy was offered professional terms at Molineux in August 1927, and made 31 Second Division appearances before joining Coventry City in March 1929 where he met with considerable success.
The Welsh speedster scored twelve goals in 77 League outings for the Third Division side, but lost favour on the appointment of Harry Storer as manager and followed his former boss Jim McIntyre to Fulham for a £100 fee in June 1931.
After assisting the ‘Cottagers’ to the Third Division (South) championship in 1931-32, Billy was chosen to represent Wales in the 4-1 defeat of Ireland at Wrexham in December 1932. He arrived in Hove in May 1935 and was first choice on the right wing during the 1935-36 campaign, but injury and a loss of form saw him replaced by Bobby Farrell the following season, and he moved on to Bristol Rovers in May 1937 where he saw out his Football League career with four appearances during 1937-38.