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Billy Light
Personal information
Full name William Henry Light
Date of birth 13 June 1913(1913-06-13)
Place of birth Woolston, Southampton, England
Date of death 1993
Height 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Playing position Goalkeeper
Youth career
1931–1932 Harland & Wolff
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1932–1936 Southampton 45 0(0)
1936–1938 West Bromwich Albion 28 0(0)
1938–1939 Colchester United
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

William Henry "Billy" Light (11 June 1913 – 1993) was an English footballer who played for Southampton and West Bromwich Albion as a goalkeeper in the 1930s.


Football career



Light was born in Woolston, Southampton and played his youth football for the works teams from the local shipyards, John I. Thornycroft & Company and Harland & Wolff.[1] In May 1932, he joined Southampton as an amateur, signing his first professional contract in September 1933.

He made his first-team debut, replacing long-serving 'keeper Bert Scriven, in a 1–0 victory over Swansea Town on 5 February 1933.[2] In only his fourth match, against Hull City at The Dell on 24 February, he displaced his left knee cap in a collision, putting him out of the game for several months.[1]

He eventually returned to the team in March 1934 and retained his place for the rest of the 1934–35 season.[3] He continued as the first choice custodian for the start of the "Saints" golden jubilee season.[4] By now, he had gained a reputation as one of the country's leading goal-keepers and in March 1936, with the club in financial difficulties, he was sold to First Division West Bromwich Albion for a fee of £2,000, causing "a storm of protest" among the club's fans.[1]

West Bromwich Albion

At The Hawthorns, Light was understudy to England international Harold Pearson and in his three years with the "Baggies", he only made 30 appearances in all. In a league match at Stoke City on 4 February 1937, he conceded 10 goals in Albion's heaviest defeat in the Football League.[5]

Colchester United - Player and coach

Light joined newly formed Colchester United, then in the Southern League, as a player-coach in 1938, helping the new club claim the Southern League title at the end of his first season. After the Second World War, he continued his association with the club, as a trainer, until his eventual retirement in 1968.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d Holley, Duncan; Chalk, Gary (1992). The Alphabet of the Saints. ACL & Polar Publishing. p. 210. ISBN 0-9514862-3-3.  
  2. ^ Chalk, Gary; Holley, Duncan (1987). Saints – A complete record. Breedon Books. pp. 90–91. ISBN 0-907969-22-4.  
  3. ^ Saints – A complete record. pp. 92–93.  
  4. ^ Saints – A complete record. pp. 94–95.  
  5. ^ "In the record book". West Bromwich Albion F.C.. 14 October 2008.,,10366~1022925,00.html. Retrieved 27 February 2009.  


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