Armfield, Billy

Birth Date

7th July 1904


Handsworth, Birmingham



Biographical Text

One of the stars of the 1931 FA Cup run Billy Armfield played for Exeter City between 1929 and 1932. He joined the club from Aston Villa and left City to play for Gillingham and Brierley Hill Alliance. Little more than a year after leaving St James' Park he had a leg amputated after a bad injury in a pre-season friendly.

Billy signed professional forms for Aston Villa in February 1922 although his first-team  opportunities were limited to 12 league matches (scoring twice). Moving to Exeter City in the summer of 1929, he was described as ’ a spry, sprightly outside right, who was extremely fast and a master of the art of confident ball control, sending in accurate centres’. 

Making his Exeter City at Brentford in November 1929 he soon sustained a shoulder injury which restricted him to just seven appearances in 1929/30. Recovering by the start of the following season Billy won a regular starting place and was a member of the City team that reached the quarter-finals of the FA Cup. Scoring three times during the run - once against Derby and twice against Leeds - he also scored nine goals in 34 league matches.

After one more season with Exeter, when he made another 31 league appearances (four goals), Billy moved on to Gillingham for a solitary season before returning to the West Midlands to sign for Brierley Hill Alliance in August 1933. Almost as soon he had arrivied at his new club, and playing in a pre-season match, he sustained a serious leg injury which led to its amputation following complications.

He later worked in retailing, became a keen bowls player and cyclist and paid a return visit to St James’ Park in July 1954 when on holiday.

Billy Armfield died in Birmingham in 1985.







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