Stoneman, William George


Exeter, Devon 1888



Biographical Text

Billy Stoneman played for Exeter City’s first-team in the Plymouth and District League before the club turned professional in 1908. As well as turning out for other local clubs, he also later appeared for City’s reserves in the same competition until enlisting in the war effort in 1914. He died in the influenza pandemic as he returned home from the war in 1919.

Having played for the former Exeter Argyle, he joined Exeter City - along with Henry Dyer and William Letheren - at the start of the club’s final campaign as a strictly amateur club. Appearing just once for the first-team in a league game, against Tavistock on 7 March 1908, he settled into playing for the reserves as the club entered the professional era. 

Working as a draper’s traveller, and living in Old Tiverton Road close to St James’ Park, he appeared off-and-on for City’s second team until 1914. Having also turned out for St Leonard’s for a while, his latter appearances for the reserves would often have been alongside those members of a generation of City’s amateurs who were to perish in the Great War:  Fred Bailey, Edwin Clark, Fred Hunt, John Webb and George White. 

Surviving the actual conflict Billy Stoneman died from influenza, as the pandemic took a grip, in France on 2 February 1919 as he made his way home from Palestine. He was considered to be Exeter City’s thirteenth known-fatality of the Great War. 

He is commemorated at the St Germain-au-Mont-d’Or British Military Cemetery and on a plaque in the Garden of Remembrance at St James Park.

For more information about Billy Stoneman’s war service and death see his entry in the Killed in Action section of the Archive





Michael West

I was doing some research for Yeovil Town and I saw that Billy Stoneman played for Yeovil in a friendly with Exeter City on 21st December 1907.i think he filled the numbers as Yeovil arrived short. 

Paul Farley

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