Town's best ever player

PUBLISHED: 15:05 01 February 2008 | UPDATED: 11:40 29 April 2010

CLASS ACT: Billy Elliott playing for Sunderland at the peak of his career.

CLASS ACT: Billy Elliott playing for Sunderland at the peak of his career.

BILLY Elliott, the no-nonsense versatile midfielder, is one of three footballers to have played for Wisbech and England. He, along with former England internationals Jesse Pye and Bobby Langton, is seen as one of the greatest players to have ever pulled

The Wisbech team: From left, back – Sam Malpass, Jesse Pye, Henry Adamson, Johnny Crosland, Tommy Mackenzie, Sid Garratt, Bernerd Streten, Oscar Hold. Front – Arnold Kendall, Barry Hawkins, Billy Elliott, Kevin Baron and Charlie Rutter.

BILLY Elliott, the no-nonsense versatile midfielder, is one of three footballers to have played for Wisbech and England.

He, along with former England internationals Jesse Pye and Bobby Langton, is seen as one of the greatest players to have ever pulled on a Wisbech shirt.

Elliott most commonly played on the left wing and joined Wisbech in 1959, at the age of 34.

He played his final match for the Fenmen in 1961. They were the last club he played for.

The Bradford-born star played 117 times for Wisbech and scored 18 goals for the club.

Current Wisbech manager Roy McManus was a ball-boy at Fenland Park when Elliott played for the club.

He said: "He was a tremendous player and a wonderful man and I feel blessed to have known him.

"If Billy went into a 50/50 challenge he would always come out with the ball. He could tackle like Norman Hunter but he was also a wonderfully gifted player with lots of skill.

"He's one of the best players I've seen. I always used to look and learn from the sidelines and he was certainly an inspiration to me."

After leaving the Fenmen, Elliott pursued a career in management.

He managed the Libyan national team and several club sides, including Darlington and Brann Bergen in Sweden.

He also coached the Sunderland team which won the 1973 FA Cup.

Elliott began his playing career with Bradford Park Avenue, joining as an amateur in 1939 and turning professional in March 1942.

He scored 21 times in 176 league games for Bradford before a £23,000 move to Burnley in August 1951

He made his debut for England on May 18, 1952 in a 1-1 draw with Italy in Florence, also playing in the 3-2 win against Austria in Vienna a week later.

The following season he played games against Northern Ireland, Wales and Belgium.

In June 1953, after 14 goals in 74 league games for Burnley, Elliott moved to Sunderland in June 1953, costing £26,000.

He played 212 games and scored 26 goals, in a six year spell at the club, before leaving for the Fenmen in 1959.

Elliott, who was also the landlord of the Bowling Green pub in Wisbech when he played for the club, died on January 21, aged 82.

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