The Barry Town Hall of Fame : William ‘Billy’ Jennings

Barry Town Hall of Fame Inductee, Class of 2014; Billy Jennings

Barry Town Hall of Fame Inductee, Class of 2014; Billy Jennings (all images here are courtesy of the Jennings family and should not be recreated without prior permission)

When Billy Jennings was called up to the Welsh squad for the first time, a civic reception was held in his honour in Barry.

28 February 1914 at Celtic Park (Parkhead), Glasgow

Wales: Ted Peers (Wolverhampton W), Thomas J Hewitt (S Liverpool), William Jennings (Bolton Wanderers), Thomas J Matthias (Wrexham), Lloyd Davies (Northampton T), Joseph T Jones (Stoke), Billy Meredith (Manchester Utd), George A Wynn (Manchester C), Walter O Davis (Millwall Ath), William ‘Lot’ Jones (Manchester C), Jack Evans (Cardiff C)

Referee H H Taylor (England)

Attendance 10,000

16 March 1914 at Ninian Park, Cardiff

Wales: Ted Peers (Wolverhampton W), Thomas J Hewitt (S Liverpool), Moses Russell (Merthyr T), Thomas J Matthias (Wrexham), Lloyd Davies (Northampton T), William Jennings (Bolton Wanderers), Billy Meredith (Manchester Utd), George A Wynn (Manchester C), Stan Rowlands (Tranmere Rovers), William C Davies (Crystal Palace), Ted Vizard (Bolton Wanderers)

Referee James Mason (England)

Attendance 17,586

(Welsh international stats courtesy of the Welsh Football Data Archive)

Barry Dock News
Friday 20 March 1914


Presentation to Mr W. Jennings at Barry

Barry footballers – the West End section in particular – met at the Co-Operative Hall, Barry, on Tuesday evening last, to celebrate the selection in the Welsh Association team which met England last Monday, of Mr W. Jennings, of Bolton Wanderers, who is the first Barry boy to gain senior international honours. It was a happy and convivial gathering, and during the evening Mr Jennings was made the recipient of a gold albert and pendant and sovereign case.

Mr. W. Jennings, who has just attained his majority, received his education at Romilly Road, under Mr. R. T. Evans. He had always displayed the essentials of a good footballer, and it was in 1907 that he was honoured by being chosen to represent his country against the English boys at Walsall. As time wore on, he captained the Romilly Old Boys and Barry Bethel Baptists, and frequently assisted the Barry West End. He joined the Bolton Wanderers in August, 1912, and in February of this year gained his first international cap against Scotland at Glasgow.

Mr R. A. Lewis made a presentation to Mr. Jennings, and in the course of his remarks gave the gathering an interesting account of how Vizard and Jennings joined the Bolton Wanderers Club. A few years ago, Mr. Lewis went on, Vizard signed an amateur form for Aston Villa, but was not called upon. The nest season (while playing for the Barry District AFC) he offered his services to Cardiff City for 30/- a week. Two of their directors informed Vizard that he should be ashamed of himself for asking such an amount – they could get “first class” players for that figure (Laughter).

However, Mr. Lewis recommended him to the Bolton directors, who at once realised that they had a good man. Then, again, the speaker was so impressed with the play of Jennings when at Barry, that he wrote to Bolton, and as Vizard had been such a success they readily included Jennings in the team. “If there had been a professional side at Barry,” Mr. Lewis added, “I should not have recommended them anywhere else, for it is the duty of every Barryite to do his best for local sport.” (Applause)

In handing the gift to Mr. Jennings, he made reference to his qualifications and capabilities as a footballer. Barryites, he added, were proud of the recipient. (Cheers.)

Mr. Jennings made a modest and brief response, which was much applauded.

On the occasion of the 100th Anniversary of the first Barry football player to be called up by the Football Association of Wales to represent his country, Billy Jennings is duly Inducted into the Barry Town Hall of Fame.

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