England Football Online
Goalkeepers Index Page Last Updated
9 July 2023

Billy Rose

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

5 appearances, 4 goal against
one clean sheet

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


captain: none
minutes played:


  William Crisp Rose
Birth Sunday, 1 December 1861 in Euston, Middlesex
  registered in Pancras October-December 1861 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.

First Marriage to Millicant Rigg, on Thursday, 12 August 1886, at St. Leonard Church in Walton-le-Dale, Preston. William is living at Knowsley Street, Preston and Millicent is at Church Brow, Walton-le-Dale.
  registered in Preston July-September 1886.
  "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.
...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.
Children Billy and Millie Rose had one daughter together. Millicent (b.29 July 1887)

(Tragedy struck the Rose household when his wife, Millicent died a day after giving birth, 30 July, their only daughter, Millie died three days later, 2 August 1887...living at Knowslet Street, Preston)
The 1890 Kelly's Directory of Birmingham put William Crisp Rose at 142 Brearley Street, where he is landlord of The Leopard.
According to the 1891 census, Wm. Crisp is widowed and is a hotel manager of the Prince Albert at the end of Railway Street in St. Peter's, Wolverhampton. His brother, Harry, lives with him and is also the barman. They have two servants.
The 1892 Kelly's Directory of Staffordshire states Wm Crisp Rose at Dudley Street, Wolverhampton, where he is now the landlord of The Red Cow.

Second Marriage to Ellen Doughty Cowling, mid-1896 in Loughborough
  registered in Loughborough July-September 1896.
Children Billy and Ellen Rose had five children together. William (b.1897), Edith (b.12 January 1899), Ellen (b.20 January 1900), Alice (b.11 April 1905) and Bessie (b.7 November 1913)

(His father died on 3 August 1898)
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.
(His mother died at the end of 1914)


According to the 1921 census, William Crisp is now an assistant super-intendant at Britannia Life Assurance. With his wife and four of their children (Bessie is another addition), they live at 7 Goodrick Street in the Vauxhall area of Birmingham.
According to the Midland Electoral Registers, from 1930, William and his family ware living at 33 Southern Road, in the Erdington area of Birmingham, until his death.

Death Tuesday, 2 February 1937 in Dudley Road Hospital, Dudley Road, Birmingham, Warwickshire, slipped coming out of a shop near his home, and later died from complications.
aged 75 years 63 days registered in Birmingham January-March 1937


"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.


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].
  Ellen Rose died in 1955


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;

Individual honours
The South (two appearances, 1884-85, 4ᵍᵃ)
The Players (one appearance, January 1886, 1ᵍᵃ)
The North (one appearance, January 1886, 3ᵍᵃ)
The Stripes (one appearance, March 1891, 4ᵍᵃ)

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
The minutes here given can only ever be a guideline and cannot therefore be accurate, only an approximation.
5 4 0 1 24 4 +20 1 1 4.8 0.8 80 +3
All of his matches were played in the British Championship competition

Venue Record

Venue P W D L F A GD FTS CS FAv AAv Pts% W/L
Home 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 4.8 0.8 80 +3

Match History

 Clubs: Swifts F.C. & Swindon Town F.C. - three full appearances (270 min) 2ᵍᵃ F.A. Committee - four full appearances (360 min) 3ᵍᵃx

Age 22 trial  
one appearance - The South vs. The North, January 1884.

apps match match details comp res rundown pos

1 20 23 February 1884 - Ireland 1 England 8
Ulster Cricket Ground, Belfast
BC AW 1ᵍᵃ
cs: 88min

one of two who became the 109th (109) players to appear for England
the eighth player from Swifts to represent England
the first of just two Swindon Town FC players to represent England
the youngest player to represent England competitively - until next match
The fifteenth goalkeeper to play for England - first competitive

2 21 15 March 1884 - Scotland 1 England 0
Cathkin Park, Glasgow
BC AL 1ᵍᵃ gk
ᵍᵃsmart shot
3 22 17 March 1884 - Wales 0 England 4
The Racecourse, Wrexham
BC AW   gk

Age 23 trial  
one appearance - The North vs. The South, January 1885.

 Club: Preston North End F.C. - one full appearance (90 min) 1ᵍᵃ  

Age 24  
two appearances - The Players vs. The Gentlemen, 16 January 1886. The South vs. The North, 30 January 1886;

4 26 13 March 1886 - Ireland 1 England 6
Ulster Cricket Ground, Belfast
BC AW 1ᵍᵃ
cs: 189min
ᵍᵃlow swift shot

one of two who became the first players from Preston North End FC to represent England

 Club: Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C. - one full appearance (90 min) 1ᵍᵃ F.A. International Select Committee - one full appearance (90 min) 1ᵍᵃx

Age 29
5 41 7 March 1891 - England 6 Ireland 1
Molineux Ground, Wolverhampton (home ground)
BC HW 1ᵍᵃ gk
ᵍᵃout of a rally

the eighth player from Wolverhampton Wanderers FC to represent England

one appearance - The Whites vs. The Stripes, 24 March 1891.

43 4 April 1891 - England 2 Scotland 1, Ewood Park, Blackburn BC HW reserve