Outside left Bill Barraclough was born on Bean Street in West Hull and played for both Yorkshire County and Northern Counties Schoolboy XIs in his youth. Barraclough assisted Dairycoates FC and Bridlington Town during his late teens before joining the ranks at Hull City in June 1927 on amateur terms. This amateur status allowed Bill to play for both City’s Reserves XI, where his pace and direct running on the wing impressed, and Bridlington Town during the first half of the 1927/28 season. He also played for an East Riding FA XI in October 1927.
Barraclough made his debut for Bill McCracken’s first team in January 1928, his first five starts yielded two victories and two draws. At the end of Februay he dropped out of the first team in favour experienced winger Billy Taylor, but came back into the picture and started four of the last five games of the season, yielding two wins and a draw. While Bill didn’t score any goals for the Tigers, his presence in the team appeared to be positive in what had been a half season of poor results for the Tigers.
During the 1928 close season Barraclough was offered a professional contract, which he declined and remained on City’s books as an amateur. His reticence became clear in September 1928 when he asked to be released by Hull City so he could join Division Two rivals Wolverhampton Wanderers, a request that City acquiesced to after a period of deliberation and negotiation. Barraclough started just three games for Wolves in the 1928/29 season, two in December and a third in March. He was introduced as Wolves’ regular first team left winger at the start of the 1929/30 season and scored his first goal in September 1929, inevitably against Hull City in a 4-2 victory. He dropped out of the Wolves team in early January 1930 but returned in the following November and became a first team regular for the next four seasons. In 1931/32 he netted seven goals as Wolves won the Division Two title and promotion to the top flight. He played two seasons in the First Division and scored a further ten goals, but in the early weeks of the 1934/35 season Barraclough was tempted away from Wolves having made 183 starts in old gold and scored 20 goals.
In October 1934 Bill transferred to Chelsea and he was in the Blues’ first team by early November, resuming the form he showed at Wolves and scoring six times as the Stamford Bridge side finished the season 12th in the First Division table. He spent two further seasons at Chelsea, dropping out of the first team picture during the 1936/37 season and making the last of his 81 starts in February 1937, during which time he scored 11 goals.
Barraclough spent the 1937/38 season at newly formed Southern League side Colchester United, the heavy £2,500 fee placed on his head by Chelsea prevented him from signing for another Football League side. He combined regular goals with a feisty approach to the game at Layer Road, nearly getting suspended by the FA in January 1938 after being dismissed for questioning the decisions of the referee. Bill returned to the Football League scene in the 1938 close season when he signed for Doncaster Rovers, who were willing to pay Chelsea the £500 fee now demanded. Bill started the season in the Rovers’ first team but soon dropped out the starting XI and he ended the 1938/39 season having made only nine starts. The outbreak of World War Two drew a halt to Barraclough’s senior career though he did play for Doncaster Rovers and Hull City in the wartime leagues while serving in the Royal Army Dental Corps. His first game back at the Tigers was against Newcastle United in October 1940 and he scored in a 2-1 victory, by March 1941 he had made 19 appearances and scored twice (the second goal coming against Leeds United). In 1945 he played one Midland League game for Peterborough United before hanging up his boots.
After the war Barraclough returned to Hull and lived off Willerby Road while working as a clerk in the docks, then becoming a fruit merchant. He died of a heart attack in August 1969.
Date/Place of Birth: 3 January 1909, Hull
Hull City First Game: 21 January 1928, Port Vale H (Division Two), 19 years, 18 days old
Hull City Final Game: 5 May 1928, Oldham Athletic A (Division Two), 19 years, 123 days old
Dairycoates (1926-1927), Bridlington Town (1927), Hull City (1927-1928), Wolverhampton Wanderers (1928-1934), Chelsea (1934-1937), Colchester United (1937-1938), Doncaster Rovers (1938-1939), Peterborough United (1945)
Hull City Record
Career: 9 apps, 0 goalsBill Barraclough