Experienced centre forward Billy Price joined City in January 1949 for a £4,000 fee. With the Tigers riding high in the Division Three North table, manager Raich Carter wanted to supplement his choices at the centre of attack that were reliant on Grimsby born pivot Norman Moore. Carter had played alongside Price when guesting for Huddersfield Town in wartime fixtures so knew about Billy’s prowess. Price rewarded Carter handsomely, stepping into a winning team and scoring a brace against Barrow on debut and adding a third goal at Wrexham a week later. Further goals against Hartlepools and Rochdale meant Billy’s strike rate was exemplary – five goals in his first seven games. Carter had been using Moore, who was suffering a niggling injury, as centre forward for FA Cup wins against Blackburn, Grimsby and Stoke, as well as the Sixth Round defeat at home to Manchester United, with Price starting the intervening league games. With the Cup odyssey over in mid-March, Moore – now restored to fitness – reverted to first choice centre forward and Price started only one further League game for the Tigers, an April 1949 0-0 draw at Southport. Price was not selected during the early months of 1949/50 season as City quickly ascended to the upper reaches of Division Two and he left the club in November 1949.
Albert John William Price, known as “Billy”, was born in Hadley in Shropshire, a small village that grew in the early twentieth century when the Castle Car Works started making tramcars and car panels – Hadley is now a suburb of Telford new town. Price started his footballing career with local side Wrockwardine Wood before joining First Division Huddersfield Town in October 1937. Huddersfield were beaten finalists in the 1938 FA Cup Final though Price didn’t play, having only made his debut for the Terriers a month earlier in April 1938. Billy was a regular in the 1938/39 season and finished top goalscorer in all competitions with 24 strikes as the Terriers reached the FA Cup semi final again (losing to Portsmouth) and narrowly avoiding relegation. This form was enough to initiate talk of an England international cap, though this never transpired as the onset of World War Two halted senior football in September 1939. Price played on for Huddersfield for a couple of years in wartime fixtures, scoring 43 goals in one particularly fecund season, before he was called up to serve the Army.
Returning to Huddersfield Town when the Football League resumed in 1946, Price was no longer first choice centre forward. By the time he left in October 1947 Price had made 63 senior appearances for Huddersfield and scored 32 goals. He joined Reading in 1947 and made eighteen starts for the Royals, mostly at outside left, and scored two goals. He was purchased from Reading by Hull City in January 1949.
Price joined Bradford City in November 1949 and stayed at Valley Parade for three years. Price was top League goalscorer for the Bantams in 1949/50 and 1950/51 season, both times scoring 16 goals. Price fell out of favour in 1951/52 season, starting only eight matches, and he left Bradford in the 1952 close season to join Winsford United where he played for another two years scoring 33 times in 58 starts.
Price returned to Bradford when his playing days were over and was landlord for several pubs in the city inlcuding the Metropole Hotel. He died in Bradford in September 1995.
Date/Place of Birth: 10 April 1917, Hadley
Hull City First Game: 15 January 1949, Barrow H (Division Three North), 31 years, 280 days old
Hull City Final Game: 9 April 1949, Southport A (Division Three North), 31 years, 364 days old
Wrockwardine Woods, Huddersfield Town (1937-1947), Reading (1947-1948), Hull City (1948), Bradford City (1948-1952), Winsford United (1952-1954)
Hull City Record
Career: 8 apps, 5 goalsBilly Price