T/157367 William Richard Lee, professional footballer

Discussion in 'Searching for Someone & Military Genealogy' started by AB64, Dec 13, 2013.

  1. AB64

    AB64 Senior Member

    I've just got a service book that belonged to William Richard Lee, he was born 24/10/19, enlisted 1/2/40 and his trade is given as "prof footballer" - does anyone have any idea what team? he enlisted in Chesterfield and his mother was living in Blackburn at the time. From the T/prefix I take it he was RASC and his service trade is tipper driver.


  2. AB64

    AB64 Senior Member

    Just dragging this back up, with a few bits online and on television about Footballers serving in WW1 it got me thinking about this one again, does anyone have access to the 1939 register who could have a look for him in case it gives any clues.

    He seems to be in an Ancestry family tree so I have dropped the owner a note.


    1300 lee.JPG
    Guy Hudson likes this.
  3. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    Lee W.R. (Billy) 1935/1936 to 1952/1953 Feniscowles, Pleasington, Blackburn Rovers, Barrow

    The English National Football Archive

    FENISCOWLES & PLEASINGTON FC Still play in the Blackburn area
    Blackburn Rovers
    Barrow FC
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2018
  4. AB64

    AB64 Senior Member

    Great link, it's given a start that makes more searching easier

    Billy Lee Shows he was a wing half with Blacburn Rovers pre to post War


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  5. hucks216

    hucks216 Member

    Seems like he was with them when they won promotion just before the war although looks like he enlisted before the cup final mentioned here:

    Through The Years - Blackburn Rovers
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  6. minden1759

    minden1759 Senior Member

    The tricky bit in 1939 for professional footballers was that the Football League simply closed down for the duration of the war. Overnight, this left every professional footballer without a job so many simply joined up.

    15 members of the Bolton Wanderers joined their local artillery unit - 53 Field Regiment Royal Artillery and fought with them at Monte Cassino. Only one player, their Captain, Lieutenant Harry Gosling, was killed. He died on the Adriatic side before Cassino in Dec 43 and is buried in the beautiful River Sangro CWGC cemetery. The rest all made it safely back to England when the war came to an end.


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  7. AB64

    AB64 Senior Member

    I had a Great Uncle (Robert McNeil) who was with Chelsea at the start of WW1, he played in the Khaki Cup Final - he doesn't seem to have served which I think a bit odd as he would have been young and fit during the War so joining up or being called up would have seemed an inevitability. He ended up with over 300 games under his belt.

  8. AB64

    AB64 Senior Member

    A photo of him from his cousins daughter (who I contacted via his inclusion in her tree on Ancestry)- his books shows he was in NW Europe but from the photo h was also in Tunisia IMG_20181114_062417_resized_20181114_062714432.jpg
    ypres5, Tricky Dicky, CL1 and 2 others like this.

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