16 December 2006

Billy Halligan

Name: William Halligan
Born: 18 February 1886, Athlone
Height: 5.10 ft
Weight: 12.00 st
Died: 1950
Position: Centre-Forward

Representative Honours: Ireland: 2 Full Caps/1 Goal (1911-1912), 2 Victory Caps / 1 Goal (1919); Irish League: 1 Cap (1909); Leinster Junior Representative (1906).
Club Honours: (with Derby) Football League Division Two Champion 1910/11

Club Career:
Teams
Seasons
Signed
Fee
League
FA Cup
Other
Old St Mary's
-
-
-
(Dublin)
Belfast Celtic
-
Jul-1907
-
-
-
-
Distillery
08/09
-
-
-
-
-
Leeds City
09/10
May-1909
-
24/12
1/0
-
Derby County
09/10-10/11
Feb-1910
£400
22/ 8
-
-
Wolverhampton W.
11/12-12/13
Jun-1911
£450
67/34
6/7
-
Hull City
13/14-14/15
May-1913
£600
65/28
7/0
-
Manchester United
-
-
Guest
-
-
-
Rochdale
-
-
Guest
-
-
-
Stockport County
-
-
Guest
-
-
-
Chesterfield
-
-
Guest
-
-
-
Preston North End
19/20
Jul-1919
-
16/ 2
-
-
Oldham Athletic
19/20-20/21
Jan-1920
-
28/ 9
-
-
Nelson
21/22
Aug-1921
£75
17/ 6
3/0
-
Boston Town
-
-1922
-
(Midland League)
Wisbech Town
-
-1924
-
-
TOTALS
-
£-
239/99
17/7
-

Biography:
The diminutive Billy (Willie) Halligan made his name in the Irish League with Distillery, where he won Inter-League honours, before joining a struggling Leeds City in the summer of 1909. Leeds had been impressed by Halligan's performance for the Irish League against the Scottish League in February 1909 and his twelve goals in 24 League appearances helped Leeds retain their status as a Football League club. He scored two on his debut in a 5-0 demolition of Lincoln but even before the season was out, Leeds were forced to sell Halligan due to severe financial difficulties, and he made a £400 move to Derby County in February 1910.

In joining Derby, Halligan was with a team challenging for promotion to the top-flight. A little over a year after his arrival at the Baseball Ground, Derby had won the Division Two Championship, and Halligan his first cap. Halligan however stayed in Division Two, joining Wolves where he was to have the most settled period of his career, and won his second and final cap. He was top-scorer for the club in each of his two seasons, also developing his craft as a creator of goals. A move to Hull in 1913 brought another two years of consistent goalscoring until Halligan's career was interupted by the outbreak of the First World War.

By the end of the War Halligan was turning out for Lancashire side, Rochdale. He played in the two post-War Victory Internationals against Scotland, scoring in the initial 2-1 defeat - with Scotland playing the first twenty minutes with nine men as two players failed to turn up!

For the resumption of League football after the War, Halligan signed for Preston, finally making it to the top-flight. By then age had caught-up with him, and he found the net just twice - remarkably in consecutive 2-1 victories over high-flying Liverpool. He finished his League career with spells at Oldham and Nelson before drifting into non-League football where he played until the age of 39.

Ireland Cap Details:
28-01-1911 Wales... H L 1-2 BC 1 Goal
10-02-1912 England. H L 1-6 BC

Summary: 2/1. Won 0, Drew 0, Lost 2.

Victory Cap Details:
22-03-1919 Scotland A L 1-2 1 Goal
19-04-1919 Scotland H D 0-0

Summary: 2/1. Won 0, Drew 1, Lost 1.

With thanks to Martin O'Connor.

8 comments:

Guy said...

He was my Grandfather. I thought he also played for Man Utd during the war years.

Guy Walker

jcd said...

Thanks Guy.

I've checked a few sources and you are indeed correct. Profile updated accordingly.

Tadhg Carey said...

Hi Guy,

I'm involved in Athlone Town, a League of Ireland club in the town where your grandfather was born.
I'd love to make contact with you to learn more about Willie Halligan, for our club records.

His first club, I think, was Old St Mary's in Dublin, and he first came to prominence playing for a Leinster province junior selection against an Ulster province junior selection in 1906.

Maybe you could contact me at tadhgcarey@ireland.com.

Thanks

BFG said...

Guy,

He was my grand uncle, my grandfather was his youngest brother Thomas Halligan. He had left Ireland to play football before Thomas was born. Did he die in Wales?

BFG.

24/12/2009

Anonymous said...

Nah, you can scratch that last comment. He died in 1966 in Manchester from alzheimer's.

Kevin Halligan said...

I love reading about the Halligans in Westmeath and Athlone. My great great grandfather was Michael Halligan (married Mary Glennon in 1855 in Balynacargy. He had several children one of whom was named Willie Halligan (my great grandfather) My grandfather and father were both named William as am I. Michael and Mary came to Huntington NY sometime after 1855. I was recently in Ireland but did not get a chance to explore Westmeath. Sorry about the aside if this is only a sporting site. Would love to be in contact with any Halligans from Westmeath or Balynacargy who may be related to Michael or Mary Halligan

W Kevin Halligan
Richmond Virginia
wkhalligan@gmail.com

brenmcmaster@hotmail.co.uk said...

My dear old mum died in july, she started her long life in Dublin in 1921 when she was born of Mary Halligan. Marys husband was a sergent in the free state army, having previously served in the British army in the middle East in WW1. There was allways talk of someone in the family who played for Man U (8-2 against the Arse today)I suppose this must be "Billy". Mum married a Belfast lad during WW2 and spent the rest of her days in the North. Can anyone fill in the details?

Catherine Halligan said...

Hi All, My father is Billy Halligan from Coosan, Athlone, Co. Westmeath, Ireland and he is 76yrs old and is related to Billy Halligan the Footballer.He has six children Ann, me - Catherine, Oonagh, Hubert, Deirdre and the youngest Billy junior.We all played a lot of sport,from Socer, to Hockey and Horse riding and swimming and notably Billy junior was gifted with a ball playing Hurley and golf and he captained many teams and scored lots of goals in his prime.Budding Footballers in the family now are Oonaghs daughter Hanah who plays on the under 12 Kildare team,Catherines daughters Orla on the U10 and Sadhbh U8 Tubberclare team and outstanding is little Donal U10 Anns son who is the star player on his school team.
I was not aware that we had a professional footballer in the family until recent years and find it interesting to see the natural sporting ability appearing down through the generations.I would be interested to know more about the man himself Billy the footballer, to see if his personality or appearance or health is similar to our family. send any information to my husbands email colmcuffe@gmail.com
Thank You
Catherine Halligan

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