OzWhite's Leeds United F.C. History
Leeds United F.C. History : Foreword
1919-29 - The Twenties
1930-39 - The Thirties
1939-46 - The War Years
1947-49 - Post War Depression
1949-57 - The Reign of King John
1957-63 - From Charles to Revie
1961-75 - The Revie Years
1975-82 - The Downward Spiral
1982-88 - The Dark Years
1988-96 - The Wilko Years
1996-04 - The Rollercoaster Ride
2004-17 - Down Among The Deadmen
2018-22 - The El Loco Era: Back Where We Belong
2022-24 - Marsch back to the Championship
100 Greatest LUFC Players Ever
Greatest Leeds United Games
Players' Profiles
Managers' Profiles
Leeds City F.C. History
Leeds City F.C. Player and Manager Profiles
Leeds United/City Statistics
Leeds United/City Captains
Leeds United/City Friendlies and Other Games
Leeds United/City Reserves and Other Teams

Humphries: William McCauley (Billy)

1958-1959 (Player Details)

Outside Right

Born: Belfast: 08-06-1936

Debut: Arsenal (h): 27-09-1958

5’4 1/2” 9st 12lb (1959)

At school Humphries was a rugby scrum half, but also shone as a soccer player.After starting as an amateur with East Belfast while working as a clerical officer with the Belfast Transport Department. He spent four years at Glentoran, as an amateur, scoring four goals in twelve appearances during the disastrous 1954-55 season. He signed for Ards, against who he had scored on his Glentoran debut the previous January, in the summer of 1955. He made his Ards debut on 24th August 1955 in an Ulster Cup tie with Glenavon. Two years later, under the stewardship of the legendary George Eastham, Ards claimed their first, and to-date only, Irish League title, Humphries playing a key role. He was selected for the Ireland Amateur team and played three times, against Wales in 1956-57 and against England in that season and in 1957-58. The 1957-58 season also brought Humphries his first major representative honour as he played for the Irish League, in a 7-0 defeat by the Scottish League at Ibrox, on 9th October 1957. Early the following season on 4th September 1958, Humphries was on the end of another Inter-League debacle, the Scots coming to Windsor Park to win 5-0. He also featured in Ards’ first European match, French champions Stade de Rheims coming to Windsor Park and triumphing 4-1 thanks to four goals by that year’s World Cup star, Just Fontaine. Before thesecond leg in Paris, Humphries had departed Ards to sign for Leeds United in a £5,000 deal in September 1958. Blackpool had seemed the likely destination until the very last moment, when Leeds stepped in. The Yorkshire club were the first to recognise the talent of Billy Humphries, but unfortunately did not reap the benefits of his skill. He lasted a little over a year at Elland Road, scoring twice and playing twenty-five times in the League and once in the F.A. Cup, for the struggling First Division team. The twenty-two-year-old did not settle at Leeds and he returned to Ards in November 1959 and gained a runners-up medal in the Irish Cup. It didn’t take long for Humphries to regain his form and in the 1961/62 season he played in all four of the Irish League’s representative matches, in the 7-0 drubbing by the Scottish League on 4th October 1961, followed by a 6-1 defeat by the Football League on 1st November 1961 in Belfast, 3-1 win over the League of Ireland in Belfast on 4th April 1962 and the most notably in a 6-2 victory over the Italian Semi-Pro League at Windsor Park. On 11th April 1962 he won his first cap for Northern Ireland, as stand-in for Billy Bingham on the right-wing. It wasn’t a happy match for the Irish, they lost 4-0 to Wales at Ninian Park Cardiff, but it did bring Humphries back to the attentions of a mainland club. A week after the Cardiff match, he signed for Coventry City in a £14,000 transfer, and made his Football League return in a Division Three match against Hull on 28th April 1962. By the end of the season Humphries had won his second cap, and again Northern Ireland lost 4-0, this time to the Dutch at Feyenoord Stadium, Rotterdam on 9th May 1962. Over the following few seasons, Humphries established himself on the international scene, taking over the number seven shirt from Billy Bingham who moved to the left-wing. On 10th October 1962 he scored in Northern Ireland’s first ever European Nations Cup (now the European Championship) match, a 2-0 win over Poland, in Katowice, with Derek Dougan getting the other. As the Northern Ireland forward-line evolved to facilitate new players, Humphries found himself employed at inside-right, with Bingham outside him. Later he would have to make way himself for new talent, the likes of Best, McLaughlin, Dougan, Irvine and Wilson forcing Humphries out of the international reckoning before he was thirty. On the domestic front things were looking up and he was linked with a move to top-flight football. Humphries scored ten times as Coventry won the Third Division title in 1964 under the leadership of Jimmy Hill. He scored twenty-three goals and made a hundred and nine League appearances, twelve F.A. Cup appearances and scored one goal in five League Cup appearances for the Sky Blues before a £14,000 move took him to Swansea Town. There he made a hundred and forty-three League appearances and scored twenty-two goals. He also scored four times in eight F.A. Cup games and played six League Cup games without scoring. Immediately popular with the Swans fans, Humphries could do nothing to save the club from relegation from the Second Division in 1965, and by 1967 hefound himself playing in the Fourth Division. The highlight of Humphries’ Swans career was no doubt the 1966 Welsh Cup Final victory over Chester. In June 1968, just turned thirty-twoyears of age, Humphries’ Football League career was ended when he was released by Swansea. In the summer of 1968 he returned to Ireland for a third, and longest, spell with Ards. He played five hundred and seventy-one times for Ards and scored one hundred and thirty-eight goals in domestic games and started seven games for them in European competition. George Eastham jumped at the chance to bring one of Ards’ all-time favourites back to Castlereagh Park. His first season back in the Irish League brought an Irish Cup win. Distillery were defeated 4-2 in a replayed final at Windsor Park. In 1969 he played in a famous 0-0 draw with Roma at the Oval in the Cup Winners’ Cup. 1970 brought him the title of Ulster Player of the Year, as well as Ards Player of the Year and his appointment as Ards player-manager. In 1972 he led the club to a Co. Antrim Shield success and at thirty-five won both the Ulster Footballer of the Year and Northern Ireland Football Writers’ Player of the Year awards. The pinnacle of Humphries long association with Ards arrived in 1974 when he led them to four trophies - the Irish Cup, Ulster Cup, Gold Cup and Blaxnit Cup. It was Ards most successful season in their history. Humphries retired as a player in 1976, just before his fortieth birthday, but continued to serve Ards as Manager until 1978, and again from 1980 to 1982. He was also a club Director and Manager of the social club until dismissed in 1982. Later Humphries had a spell as Manager of Ards’ local rivals Bangor from 1983 to April 1985. As well as gaining fourteen caps for Northern Ireland and scoring once, he represented the Irish League twelve times and played for an Irish FA Representative XI as well as gaining three amateur caps for Northern Ireland. He ran a newsagent shop until his retirement in 1991.

League 252
F.A. Cup 10