Billy Meredith (30th July 1897 to 19th April 1958)


Iím not interested in football but even Iíve heard of the footballer Billy Meredith. Here I am at his grave and he was lowered into the ground here two months after Munich air disaster which killed eight of the Busby Babes.


Meredith died almost penniless and he lay here in an unmarked grave for a while. Four parties (The Professional Footballers' Association, the Welsh FA, Manchester City and Manchester United) paid for a new headstone and its upkeep.


If Billy had been a footballer now his talent would have made him superbly rich. He played for Manchester City, Manchester United and Wales 48 times. He was known for his dribbling, passing, crossing, and shooting. You could easily spot him from the crowd: he chewed a toothpick during games for some reason (cartoonists picked up on this.)


Through his career he avoided injury. He had extraordinary balance and speed which allowed him to avoid challenges. Off the field he had extra training sessions and avoided alcohol and tobacco.


He retired in 1924, making him the oldest ever player for City, United, and Wales.


He was not an effective businessman, though. He ran a public house (even though he never touched a drop) and bought shares in many cinemas in the Stretford area of Manchester. His outfitting company went bust in July 1909 and he was declared bankrupt. He also ran Stretford Road Hotel and discussed games here with former colleagues and regulars.


He was married to Ellen Negus and they had two daughters (see headstone). He was 1.75m high.


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