England Football Online
Goalkeepers Index Page Last Updated
24 October 2018

Billy Rose

Swifts FC, Swindon Town FC, Preston North End FC, Wolverhampton Wanderers FC

5 appearances, 4 goal against

P 5 W 2 D 0 L 1 F 12: A 2
80% successful


captain: none
minutes played:


  William Crisp Rose
Not Crispin, never Crispin. He himself signed his named as Crisp in the 1911 census. His mother's maiden name was Crisp
Birth Sunday, 1 December 1861 in Euston, Middlesex [registered in Pancras, December 1861]
note: Pancras was part of the Middlesex County Registration before 1889.

According to the 1871 census, William C. is the oldest of the three children, all sons, to William and Anna Maria (née Crisp). His father is a carpenter and they live at 44½ Ashted Row in Aston, Birmingham.


According to the 1881 census, William and his two brothers remain at home with their parents living at 2 Regents Park Road in Aston, both William and his father are carpenters.

"William Crisp Rose, late of Swindon, and now of Preston, a carpenter, was summoned by Dora Green, 19, single woman, of Swindon, to show cause, &c.—Mr. Boodle appeared for the plaintiff, and Mr. R.S. Foreman, for the defendant.—Complainant said she was confined on the 14th July, 1885, and the defendant was the father of the child.—Mr. Boodle said that the complainant had already received £40 towards the support of the child.—The Bench made an order on the defendant of 2s. 6d. a week till the child was 14 years of age."
- Wilts & Gloucestershire Standard, Saturday, 28 August 1886.
First Marriage to Millicant Rigg, on 12 August 1886 [registered in Preston, September 1886]. She had died within the year.
"Another Preston footballer has entered the bonds of matrimony, viz., W. C. Rose, the North End goalkeeper, Rose commenced business for himself as a joiner and carpenter a few months ago, and has done a fair business. He was married on Thursday morning." - Cricket and Football Field, Saturday, 14 August 1886.

According to the 1891 census, Wm. Crisp is widowed and is a hotel manager of the pub at the end of Railway Street in St. Peter's, Wolverhampton. His brother, Harry, lives with him and is the barman. They have two servants.

Second Marriage to Ellen Doughty Cowling [registered in Loughborough, September 1896].

According to the 1901 census, William Crisp is a beerhouse keeper at 157 Market Street in the Monks Coppenhall area of Crewe. He is married to Ellen Doughty and they have three children, William, Edith and Ellen along with two servants.


According to the 1911 census, William is the manager of the public house, The Black Swan Hotel in Bromsgrove Street, Birmingham. He remains married with one more child, Alice, and his mother lives with them, along with two servants.

Death Tuesday, 2 February 1937 in Dudley Road Hospital, Dudley Road, Birmingham, aged 75 years 63 days [registered in Birmingham, March 1937], slipped coming out of a shop near his home, and later died from complications. Probate confirms the correct date of death.


"The death is announced of William C. Rose, the former Wolverhampton Wanderers and Preston North End goalkeeper, who was five times 'capped' for England. Rose, who was seventy-five years old, slipped when coming out of a shop near his home in Birmingham and died in hospital from complications. He played for his country against Scotland, Ireland and Wales in 1884, and against Ireland in 1886 and 1891. He was a member of the Wanderers' first F.A. Cup winning side in 1893. The funeral takes place on Saturday."
 - Gloucestershire Echo/Dundee Courier/Yorkshire Post & Leeds Intelligencer/Sunderland Daily Echo & Shipping Gazette/Leeds Mercury, Friday, 5 February 1937.

Funeral Saturday, 6 February 1937 in Yardley
"Club Colours in Wreath at Funeral.
"A wreath in the club's colours from Wolverhampton Wanderers was among the floral tributes at the funeral at Yardley on Saturday of Mr. William C. Rose, the former Wolverhampton Wanderers and England footballer, off 33, Southern-road, Ward End, Birmingham, who died in Dudley-road Hospital following an accident. He was 75 years of age. The service was conducted by the Rev. W. R. Witcomb. The family mourners included the widow, four daughters and three sons-in-law. In addition to the wreath from the 'Wolves,' there was one, 'In memory of an old friend and a great goalkeeper, from Charles B. Crisp, of the Chelsea Football Club,' and others from the service department of Wolseley Motors and from the Britannic Staff Association." - Birmingham Daily Gazette, Monday, 8 February 1937.
Probate "ROSE William Crisp of 33 Southern-road Ward End Birmingham 8 died 2 February 1937 at Dudley-road Hospital Birmingham 18 Probate Birmingham 1 March to Ellen Doughty Rose widow.
Effects £584 15s. 3d." [2019 equivalent: £40,081].


Douglas Lammings' An English Football Internationalist Who's Who [1990] &

Playing Career

"...at an early age went to Birmingham and commenced his football with Small Heath [in 1877], afterwards joining [in December 1882, Rose was also keeping goal for Spartans FC, and did so on a regular basis until October 1884. During the 1883-84 season, as club captain, Spartans FC changed their name to] Swindon Town, London Swifts, [He also assisted Swindon Victoria FC during 1884 and early part of 1885, before he joined Preston] North End [in February 1885], Warwick County and lastly..." Wolverhampton Wanderers FC in 1888-89 to play in the inaugural Football League. He was released by them, and he joined Loughborough Town FC in May 1894 and but re-joined Wolverhampton Wanderers FC a season later. He retired after making his final appearance in an FA Cup first round replay match against Notts County FC on 5 February 1896. - Sporting Life, 25 March 1893
Corinthians 1885
League History
134 appearances
Wolverhampton Wanderers FC 1889-96 134 league appearances.
debut: 2 September 1888 Wolverhampton Wanderers FC 5 Burnley FC 1.
last: 25 January 1896 Wolverhampton Wanderers FC 7 Small Heath FC 2.
Club honours FA Cup runners-up 1888-89 (no apps), 1895-96 (2); winners 1892-93 (6);
Football League third place 1888-89 (4);
Individual honours Wiltshire FA, London FA and Birmingham FA
Height/Weight 5' 11½", 12st 6lbs [1893]; 12st 2lbs [1895];


Douglas Lammings' An English Football Internationalist Who's Who [1990] & ENFA.

England Career

Player number One of two who became the 109th (109) players to appear for England.
Position(s) Goalkeeper; Fifteenth goalkeeper to appear.
First match No. 20, 23 February 1884, Ireland 1 England 8, a British Championship match at Ulster Cricket Ground, Ballynafeigh Park, Belfast, aged 22 years 84 days.
Last match No. 41, 7 March 1891, England 6 Ireland 1, a British Championship match at Molineux, Waterloo Road North, St. Peter's, Wolverhampton, aged 29 years 96 days;
Major tournaments British Championship 1883-84, 1885-86, 1890-91;
Team honours British Championship shared 1885-86, winners 1890-91;
Distinctions With his final appearance, he breaks the record of longest serving goalkeeper, set by Albemarle Swepstone and Bob Roberts.
Became just the second goalkeeper, playing a full match, to keep a clean sheet, in March 1883.
Died just three days after Billy Hogg

Beyond England

A letter from Rose in October 1893 was instrumental in the setting up of a Players' Union.  After leaving football, he was employed as a licensee in Birmingham and Wolverhampton and as a tobacconist in Bordesley. - An English Football Internationalists' Who's Who. Douglas Lamming (1990). Hatton Press, p.212.

The Numbers
parties Apps comp
minutes Goals
GA ave.min Comp GA clean sheets clean
sheet ave.
6 5 5 450 4 113 min 4 one 20% none
minutes are approximation, due to the fact that many matches rarely stuck to exactly ninety minutes long, allowing time for injuries and errors. 
5 4 0 1 24 4 +20 1 1 4.80 0.80 80.0 +3

Match Record

Venue & Competition P W D L F A GD FTS CS FAv AAv Pts % W/L
Home British Championship 1 1 0 0 6 1 +5 0 0 6.00 1.00 100.0 +1
Away 4 3 0 1 18 3 +15 1 1 4.50 0.75 75.0 +2

Tournament Record

British Championship Competition
Type P W D L F A GD FTS CS FAv AAv Pts% W/L
BC 1883-84 3 2 0 1 12 2 +10 1 1 4.00 0.667 66.7 +1
BC 1885-86 1 1 0 0 6 1 +5 0 0 6.00 1.00 100.0 +1
BC 1890-91 1 1 0 0 6 1 +5 0 0 6.00 1.00 100.0 +1
BC All 5 4 0 1 24 4 +20 1 1 4.80 0.80 80.0 +3

All Competition
Type P W D L F A GD FTS CS FAv AAv Pts% W/L
BC 5 4 0 1 24 4 +20 1 1 4.80 0.80 80.0 +3
5 4 0 1 24 4 +20 1 1 4.80 0.80 80.0 +3

Match History

 Clubs: Swifts F.C. & Swindon Town F.C. - three full appearances (270 min)

F.A. Committee (Charles Alcock) - four full appearances (360 min)x

Age 22
1 20 23 February 1884 - Ireland 1 England 8, Ulster Cricket Ground, Belfast BC AW Start gk
2 21 15 March 1884 - Scotland 1 England 0, Cathkin Park, Glasgow BC AL Start gk
3 22 17 March 1884 - Wales 0 England 4, The Racecourse, Wrexham AW Start gk

 Club: Preston North End F.C. - one full appearance (90 min)  

Age 24
4 26 13 March 1886 - Ireland 1 England 6, Ulster Cricket Ground, Belfast BC AW Start gk

 Club: Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C. - one full appearance (90 min)

F.A. International Select Committee - one full appearance (90 min)x

Age 29
5 41 7 March 1891 - England 6 Ireland 1, Molineux, Wolverhampton BC HW Start gk
43 4 April 1891 - England 2 Scotland 1, Ewood Park, Blackburn BC HW reserve