Full Name: Dinsdale, William Arthur
Date Of Birth :
Birthplace : Darlington
LCFC career record :
Apps : 136 ;
Subs : 0 ;
Goals : 103
LCFC Football League record :
Apps : 126 ;
Subs : 0 ;
Goals : 89
LCFC Debut : 28/08/1926, Southport (h) 1-1, FL Division 3N
Last Match : 02/05/1931, Wigan Borough (a) 1-0, FL Division 3N
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Billy Dinsdale was one of the best known of City's players of the
inter-war period and one of the most prolific centre forwards in the
history of the Club.
He had the distinction of finishing leading scorer in each of his
four seasons at Sincil Bank and is the all-time leading scorer for
the Imps in the FA Cup. In total he netted 103 times from 136 League
and Cup appearances for City.
Billy signed for the Imps from First Division club Aston Viila and
went straight into the first team, scoring on his debut against
Southport in the opening match of the 1926/27 season.
Despite such a promising start he was immediately replaced by Harry
Andrews and although scoring regularly for City's reserves it was not
until early December that he established himself in the Club's
Division Three North team.
He then proved his worth by scoring 25 goals in the next 27 League
and Cup games including four for the Imps in a 5-0 win over Durham
City in April 1927.
As a big bustling centre forward who relied on his strength and
enthusiasm rather than his football skills, Billy quickly became a
firm favourite with the Imps' fans.
He finished as leading scorer again in 1927/28 with 29 goals and
continued to hit the back of the net regularly until Bradford Park
Avenue, then members of the old Second Division, came in with an
offer of £1,500 for him.
The City board of directors, faced with their perennial financial
problems, agreed to sell however Billy had little success with the
West Yorkshire club and returned to Lincoln in the summer of 1930 for
a fee of just £250.
He remained at Sincil Bank for just one more season, again scoring
over 20 goals as City narrowly lost out to Chesterfield in the
Division Three North title race. The Imps of course went on to win
the championship the following season but by that time Billy had
returned to the north-east.
Like most youngsters of the time Billy had left school at 14 and
played for a number of junior teams before signing amateur forms with
his home town club of Darlington. He appeared in a couple of league
matches for them as a teenager but then drifted back into non-League football.
It was with Crook Town of the Northern League that his talents came
to the fore and, after scoring 42 goals in 35 games during the
1924/25 season, he was signed by Aston Villa.
He made a promising start to his career at Villa Park and quickly won
a place in the first team, making his debut against Arsenal in April
1925. He went on to make a handful of League appearances over the
next 12 months mostly as cover for injuries or international call-ups.
He scored regularly for Villa's reserve learn in the Central League
but despite having "plenty of dash" was seen to be lacking
in the finesse required of players in the top division.
Whilst his abilities were clearly more suited to lower level football
he really only enjoyed success at Sincil Bank and his total League
appearances elsewhere amount to just 31.
Although known for his robust style of play, Billy was a perfect
gentleman off the field. On leaving football he settled back in
Darlington and worked in the fitting shop of Stephensons Locomotives
for many years.
A very shy and private man, he rarely spoke of his footballing feats.
Sadly he suffered from ill-health in later years when he was a shadow
of the powerful athletic figure of his youth. Crippled by arthritis
he could hardly straighten his back. A sad end to one of the all-time
greats at Sincil Bank.
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