Vaughan, Billy

Birth Date

18th December 1888


Willenhall, Staffordshire



Biographical Text

Billy Vaughan scored nine times in thirty-three games for Exeter City during his only season with the club in 1927/28. He joined the Grecians from Burton Town and later played for Merthyr Town. 

Billy played in the Birmingham and District League with Willenhall ahead of spending two seasons with Bristol Rovers (6 league appearances, one goal) prior to moves to Shrewsbury Town and Merthyr Town. Signing for Wrexham in 1924, where he scored twice in 11 league matches, his next move was to Burton Town in 1926/27 from where he joined Exeter City in the summer of 1927.

Making a goalscoring debut against Torquay United in August 1927 - on the occasion of the Plainmoor club’s first game in the Football League - Billy was a regular throughout the 1927/28 season as he scored nine league goals from 33 starts and finished as joint second-highest scorer behind George Purcell. 

Missing the final four games of the season, Billy left St James’ Park for a second spell at Merthyr Town before remaining in the Football League with Luton Town. He then played out his career in non-league football with a succession of clubs including Scunthorpe & Lindsey United, Brierley Hill Alliance, Bloxwich Strollers, Cheltenham Town and Walsall Wood.

Billy died in Walsall in 1976.

The following is reproduced courtesy of Mike Jay, Bristol Rovers History Group (April 2021):

"William Vaughan. Born 18.12.1898 Willenhall Died 2nd quarter 1976 Walsall

5’ 8”; 11 st 1 lb

Bristol Rovers League Début: 9.9.20 v Newport County

Career: 27.8.19 Willenhall; 13.3.20 Bristol Rovers [6,1]; July 1921 Stafford Rangers; August 1922 Merthyr Town; August 1923 Shrewsbury Town; 20.8.24 Wrexham [11,2]; May 1925 Bilston; June 1926 Burton Town; 13.5.27 Exeter City [33,9]; 18.5.28 Merthyr Town [9,4]; 26.2.29 Luton Town [3,2]; 26.6.29 Brierley Hill Alliance; 1.11.29 Gresley Rovers; 31.8.30 Exeter City (trial); October 1930 Bloxwich Strollers; October 1932 Cheltenham Town; 14.11.33 Walsall Wood; 1934 Winsford United;  9.10.34 Knotty Ash Athletic (Liverpool).

Inside-left Billy Vaughan was one of a select few players to appear for Rovers in both the Southern League and also the Football League. His three appearances in the former, following a début against Watford, naturally preceded six in the latter and a goal in the 2-2 draw with Norwich City in October 1920. Living at that time in Southmead, he had previously made his début for Rovers’ reserve side in the 7-0 victory over the Wednesday League XI in April 1920.

One of fourteen children, of whom eight died young, to iron-caster George Vaughan and his wife Alice Moore of  11 Cross Street, Willenhall, Billy was a boxing champion in his battalion stationed in Egypt during World War One, before embarking on a remarkable footballing career that took in a wide range of clubs and enabled him to score for five separate third-tier sides.

He played twice against Rovers for Exeter, one of these being the Guy Fawkes Night 1927 fixture when Fred Dent scored all four of the Grecians’ goals, opposed Rovers for Exeter in the Allen Palmer Cup Final of 1928 and, in his final game for Merthyr, was in the game Rovers won 4-0 in November 1928. Later he scored for Luton Town against both Watford and Charlton Athletic. A team-mate of the legendary Cliff Bastin at Exeter, although the two never played alongside each other in the League, he also scored 27 goals as Burton Town were Birmingham League runners-up in 1926-27 and six goals in 24 appearances in the Birmingham League for Shrewsbury, who were Walsall Senior Cup winners in 1924. Vaughan was to score three times in only two Southern League matches for Cheltenham, two against Cannock Town and one against Market Harborough, before settling in the Walsall area."






Paul F


Mike Jay-Chairman Bristol Rovers History Group



Eric Michael Whitlock

I am the Bristol Rovers History group archivist. If you email me I have a photo of William Vaughan taken with his wife Lilian Bullock. We have no photos of him in his Rovers kit though.

Eric Whitlock

Bristol rovers history group.

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