BALMER, William Atherton 'Billy' [1875-1961]


William Atherton ‘Billy’ Balmer was born on 29th July 1875 in West Derby, the son of John Balmer, a master joiner, and his wife Martha who lived at 14 Crosby Green L12, off Mill Lane.

Once described in the Liverpool Echo [31st January 1925] as “one of those rugged stonewall players who never know fear or funk” he played at full-back and joined Everton aged 22 in 1897, having previously been playing for the Blackpool based team South Shore. He stayed with the blues until 1908, playing in 331 matches and made one international appearance for England against Ireland in 1905. His time at Goodison park saw him feature in two league runners-up teams and the F.A. Cup winning team of 1906. After leaving Everton he spent two seasons in the Southern League with Croydon Common. In 1912, aged 35,  he joined Chester in the  Lancashire Combination but only made two appearances before finally hanging his boots up for good.

Like a number of his Everton team mates Billy Balmer set up as a newsagent, his shop being at 20 Mill Lane L12. However, he returned to the world of football in 1921 when he secured a job as a trainer with Huddersfield Town. He went on to become a coach with the club and made his home in Huddersfield. By 1939 he had returned to his trade as a joiner, living at 114 Church Street, and was living at 154 Lowerhouses Lane, Huddersfield at the time of his death in 1961.

On 18th June 1903 Billy Balmer married ‘the girl next door’, Alice Caple, whose family were neighbours of the Balmers at 12 Crosby Green. Sadly she died in 1916 and in 1918 he married his second wife, Mary Thomas.

Billy Balmer’s younger brother, Bob, also played for Everton and his nephew Jack, after playing for Everton as an amateur signed as a professional for Liverpool and went on to make nearly 300 appearances for them, scoring 98 goals.

14 Crosby Green L12

The Balmers' family home

20 Mill Lane L12

The location of Billy Balmer's newsagents in 1911.


There is an excellent account of Billy Balmer's life and career on the EFC Heritage Society website.