It was with great sadness that we learned of the death of former Workington player, Billy Griffin, who passed away recently at the age of 82.
Born in Bircotes, Nottinghamshire, Billy had one brother and three sisters and his father worked at Harworth Colliery.
William Griffin began his career with Sheffield Wednesday in the late fifties and actually played (and scored) for Wednesday on his Wedding Day – ceremony in the morning, match in the afternoon. Another highlight whilst at Hillsborough was playing against Pele in a friendly against Santos and one of the world’s greatest players and Billy both scored in that match.
He joined Workington in February 1966 from Bury, that move a part-exchange deal which saw Barry Lowes move in the opposite direction.
Billy made his Reds debut on 11 February in a Third Division encounter against Oxford United scoring the winning goal in a 2-1 victory. Coincidentally, his first away goal was also netted v. Oxford United at the old Manor Ground.
He would probably be described as a ‘number 10’ these days but he wore the number eight shirt initially.
Billy’s only hat-trick in Workington red was against Swansea Town at Borough Park in March 1968, helping the team to a 3-1 Fourth Division victory. But it was his first goal in knock-out football which endeared him to Reds’ supporters – a sublime free kick in the famous 2-0 League Cup win over Carlisle United at Brunton Park.
Billy spent four seasons with the club, scoring 22 goals in 95 appearances.
A move to Rotherham United completed his Football League career but he did play in non-league for two further seasons – one with Cambridge City and his final campaign at Frickley Athletic.
Our condolences go to the surviving members of Billy’s family.