26 September 2007

Billy McCullough

Name: William James McCullough
Born: 27 July 1935, Woodburn (near Carrickfergus)
Height: 5.10½ ft
Weight: 12.05 st
Position: Left-Back / Left-Half

Representative Honours: Northern Ireland: 10 Full Caps (1961-1967), 1 B Cap (1959); Irish League: 1 Cap (1958).

Club Career:
Teams
Seasons
Signed
Fee
League
FA Cup
FL Cup
Europe
Other
Carrickfergus YMCA
-
Youth
-
-
-
-
-
Barn United
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
Ballyclare Comrades
-
-
-
(Irish Intermediate League)
Portadown
-
Dec-57
-
-
-
-
-
-
Arsenal
58/59-65/66
Sep-58
£5,000
253(0)/4
11(0)/0
-
4(0)/1
-
Millwall
66/67
Aug-66
£8,000
17(2)/0
-
-
-
-
Bedford Town
-
Aug-67
Free
-
(Southern League)
Cork Celtic
-
Jul-68
Free
-
-
-
-
-
Derry City
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
TOTALS
-
£13,000
270(2)/4
11(0)/0
-
4(0)/1
-

Biography:
Billy McCullough was already 22 by the time he arrived in senior football with Portadown, but he didn't have long to wait to make the next steps. An aggressive, sharp-tackling full-back, he was selected to represent the Irish League against the Scottish League in September 1958 and suitably impressed despite the 5-0 reverse.

Within weeks McCullough had joined Arsenal in a £5,000 deal and on 27th December he made his First Division début as Arsenal faced Luton at Highbury. The reverse fixture had been played the previous day and resulted in a 6-3 defeat for the Gunners. McCullough was called into the team for the demoralised Dennis Evans and, in a 1-0 victory, put in a sterling performance to eclipse fellow-countryman, Billy Bingham.

After a steady first season in which he played eleven firstteam matches, McCullough established himself in the Arsenal number three shirt. An early example of an over-lapping full-back, his regular forays up-field often left him looking stranded far from his defensive duties only for his pace to allow him to track back to make a vital challenge. His more attacking traits were more-regularly utilised by Northern Ireland as he played all-but-one of his internationals at left-half with his preferred role filled by Alec Elder or John Parke.

Dubbed "Flint" after a character in the TV series, Wagon Train, the name also reflected his consistency and strength of character. Through the early-to-mid-60s he played in a run of 163 out of 168 league matches while many other positions in the side were in a constant flux. Among his many partners in the defensive line were fellow Northern Irishmen, Eddie Magill, Terry Neill, Fred Clarke and goalkeeper Jack McClelland.

Having lost his place in the Arsenal firstteam to Peter Storey during the 1965/66 season, McCullough joined Second Division Millwall. His stay with the Lions was brief and after a spell with Bedford Town he returned across the Irish Sea to serve Cork Celtic then Derry City as player-manager. He later worked as an electrical engineer in Essex.

It is hard to fathom now how a player who was a regular in the English top-flight for six seasons could earn only nine caps, adding a further one when playing in the second tier. As previously noted, McCullough's favoured left-back slot was covered by two other First Division players par excellence - Elder and Parke. He shared the left-half slot with another quality player, Jimmy Nicholson, and other roles among the backs that he might have coveted were filled by Danny Blanchflower, Martin Harvey, Terry Neill and clubmate, Eddie Magill. In almost any other era "Flint" would surely have claimed a bigger haul of representative honours!

Gunnermania
Millwall Mad
Wikipedia

Northern Ireland Cap Details:
25-04-1961 Italy...... A L 2-3 FR
30-05-1963 Spain...... A D 1-1 ENC
12-10-1963 Scotland... H W 2-1 BC
30-10-1963 Spain...... H L 0-1 ENC
20-11-1963 England.... A L 3-8 BC
15-04-1964 Wales...... A W 3-2 BC
29-04-1964 Uruguay.... H W 3-0 FR
03-10-1964 England.... H L 3-4 BC
14-10-1964 Switzerland H W 1-0 WCQ
22-10-1966 England.... H L 0-2 ECQ


Summary: 10/0. Won 4, Drew 1, Lost 5.

Northern Ireland B Cap Details:
11-11-1959 France..... H D 1-1

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

3 comments:

Alison said...

Does anyone know where Billy is living ?

Alison said...

Does anyone know where Billy is living at the moment?

Unknown said...

He made 35+1 appearances (without scoring) for Bedford Town in the Southern League First Division (1967-68).

The following season (1968-69), he made 21 apps (again without scoring) for Cork Celtic.

Who was Northern Ireland's Greatest World Cup Player & Team? (select up to eleven players)

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