Billy was actually born in Woolwich and played a couple of games for Norwich before signing for his local side where he played for their reserves in a game against Spurs but after just three months moved to Reading in 1906. There he was their top scorer in his first season and was top again the following year until his move to Spurs. The deal which also brought Ernie Coquet to North London cost Spurs £500. Billy would stay with the club until his passing in 1940.
In his time at Tottenham he scored 101 goals in 334 games and become the first Tottenham player to reach the 100 goals for the club in first class games (2). Top scoring for Spurs three times his 95 goals came in the League and he was our record scorer until overtaken by Jimmy Dimmock in 1930. The first of those goals coming on his debut V Millwall.
He would score two league hat tricks for Spurs. He played in the famous Christmas Day game in 1911 when we beat Woolwich Arsenal 5-0 scoring two goals. He was a member of the side that won the 1920 Second Division title, scoring seven times and The London FA Cup (1911) scoring in the final.
Trivia - The 1911 Census shows him living in Bruce Grove with his wife and four children as well as his sister in law who gives her employment as a tennis ball sewer.
Billy was described as a fast fleet footed player, possibly not an exceptional talent but strong hard working and dependable who knew how to score goals. He was at this peak when the First World War broke out and he enlisted in the Royal Artillery (1). He was quickly promoted to the rank of sergeant and was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal before being wounded in 1917.
Not good reading for Spurs fans in October 1917 when the newspapers report that both he and Tom Morris had been wounded.
Billy returned to Spurs after the war and filled in playing at center half before reverting to inside forward. He was not quite as effective and resigned as captain and retired when Jimmy Banks replaced him as first choice in 1920. Billy became trainer under Peter McWilliam.
In 1926 Billy acted as trainer for the England side. He also turned out after a six year absence for Spurs when the team played away to Hull and Frank Osborne was taken ill before the match. Billy continued to be fully involved with the club and was still playing for the A team in the 1925/26 season (4).
You will have seen the famous photo of Tottenham leaving Stamford Bridge displaying the cup, well that’s Billy holding the trophy and witnesses claim he held it up all the way during the return journey.
When McWilliam left he was appointed manager in 1927 although he was never happy in the role. During his spell in charge Spurs slid into the Second Division. The strain of being unable to win promotion brought on ill health and he resigned in the autumn of 1929 (3).
The club took him on as assistant sectary a post he would hold until his death in May 1940. At the outbreak of World War 2 Billy volunteered to join the police reserve.
At his passing the club’s sectary said ”Tottenham mourn the loss of one of their most loyal employees. He served the club in several roles, including as an outstanding player, trainer, chief scout and as a conscientious manager. Right up until his passing he continued to serve the club he loved as a hard-working assistant secretary. He was one of our family, and he will be sadly missed.”
Billy Minter, A true Tottenham man and legend.
t- Keith 16024542
f - https://www.facebook.com/keith.harrison.9659
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In additional to the usual sources, thanks to Andy Porter, The Minter Family, Norman Giller, mehstg, Bob Goodwin.
Notes – 1- Some accounts claim that Billy had first signed on to the army as a boy soldier in June 1892 and bought himself out of the services. As he would have been four at the time I expect this is unlikely.
2 – Billy's record varies between sources The Tottenham Mysteries attempted to clarify this problem -
3 - The story of this period is told in the Roaring 20's series
& The Forgotten Years.
4- Some sources, including national newspapers will tell you Billy played for St Albans and scored seven goals in one game. Sadly this happened in 1922 when Billy was Tottenham trainer. The player who actually performed this feat was a Wilfred Minter. Just
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