15 July 2006

Billy Andrews

Americans aren't all that new to soccer, perhaps the first in the British game was our own Billy Andrews...

Name:
William Andrews
Born:
c.1886. Kansas City (USA)
Height:
5.08 ft
Weight:
11.02 st
Position:
Right-Half / Inside-Right
Representative Honours:
Ireland: 3 Full Caps (1908-13); Irish League: 6 Caps / 3 Goals (1907-11).

Club Honours: (with Distillery) Irish Cup Winner 1904/05; City Cup Winner 1904/05; (with Glentoran) Irish League Champion 1911/12, Runner-Up 1907/08, 1910/11; City Cup Winner 1910/11, 1911/12, Runner-Up 1907/08; Co. Antrim Shield Winner 1910/11, Runner-Up 1906/07; Charity Cup Winner 1906/07; 'New' Irish Cup* Runner-Up 1911/12.
* The "New Irish Cup" was awarded by the short-lived "New Irish FA". The trophy was later re-named as the Gold Cup.

Club Career:
Club
Seasons
Signed
League
FA Cup
Other
Stranmillis





Distillery
04/05-05/06
1904



Glentoran
06/07-07/08
1906
53(0)/23
*

Oldham Athletic
08/09
May-08
9(0)/ 3


Stockport County
08/09-09/10
Feb-09
13(0)/ 0


Glentoran
10/11-11/12
Jun-10
59(0)/ 9
*

Grimsby Town
12/13-14/15
Aug-12
105(0)/ 2
3(0)/0
6(0)/0
Distillery
15/16
1915



Belfast United
16/17-18/19
1916



Darlington

1919
(North-Eastern League)
Leadgate Park
20/21
1920
(North-Eastern League)
Belfast Bohemians
21/22-22/23
Jan-22






239/(0)/37
3(0)/0
6(0)/0
* All domestic games.

Biography:
Reputed to be the first North American to have played in the Football League, Kansas-born Billy Andrews began his football career in Belfast where he had moved as a child. A centre-forward "schemer and excellent dribbler" with a "good command of the ball", he played his first Irish League football with Distillery. Although in-and-out of the Whites first eleven he claimed Irish Cup and City Cup winner's medals before moving to Glentoran where his game improved immensely.

At the Oval, Andrews' goalscoring prowess saw him put four past Cliftonville Olympic in a 10-0 first round win in the Co. Antrim Shield. Glentoran went on to reach the final, losing out 2-0 to Linfield. This defeat was balanced however as Andrews scored in the Glens' 2-0 Charity Cup victory over the Blues that same season. After another year with Glentoran in which he found the net 13 times, Andrews won his first Ireland cap, courtesy of the five year continuous residence rule, and Inter-League honours.

Andrews moved to Oldham Athletic for a year, and then to Stockport County where he made little impact. After two years away he returned to Glentoran in 1910, winning his second Irish League medal, and also lifting the City Cup twice. It was during this period that he began to play in the half-back line, but he still managed a respectable nine goals in two seasons, and also found his way back into the Irish League team.

In 1912 Andrews was on the move again, back to England with Grimsby Town for three seasons and 114 appearances. Whilst with Grimsby he picked up two further Irish caps, including one at left-half in a famous 2-1 victory over England when he was called up as a late replacement. Andrews was back in the Irish League during the war years, returning to Distillery for one season before joining Belfast United. After the war Andrews returned to England to play for Darlington.

With his playing days behind him, Andrews settled back in Belfast.

Northern Ireland Full Cap Details:
1
14-03-1908
Scotland
H
L
0-5
BC
(c.22 years)
2
15-02-1913
England
H
W
2-1
BC
3
15-03-1913
Scotland
H
L
1-2
BC
(c. 29 years)
Summary: 3/0. Won 1, Drew 0, Lost 2.

Irish League Match Details:
1
12-10-1907
Football League
A
L
3-6
1 goal
2
08-10-1910
Football League
H
L
2-6
1 goal
3
31-10-1910
Scottish league
H
L
1-3
1 goal
4
20-03-1911
Southern League
A
L
0-4
5
16-10-1911
Football League
A
L
0-4
6
30-10-1911
Scottish League
A
L
0-3
Summary: 6/3. Won 0, Drew 0, Lost 6.

Additional details by George Glass.

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