William Morris (1888-1949) was born on 12 February 1888 in Danesmoor, Derbyshire and died in Birmingham during 1949. An experienced centre-half, Morris spent the most productive period of his career at Aston Villa in the years leading up to the First World War. After serving in the British Army during the war, Morris returned to football in 1919 but retired soon after.
Morris began his career at local amateur side Clay Cross before a brief spell at Derby County. After leaving the Baseball Ground, Morris spent time in the Unites States before finally returning to Britain in 1910 to play for Alfreton and Chesterfield. In March 1912, Morris signed for Aston Villa and was handed his debut in a 2-1 win at Liverpool on 6 April 1912.
Morris would go on to establish himself as a first-team regular at Villa and played 54 games for the Birmingham club, scoring one goal, over the next four seasons. Despite enjoying the most productive season of his career during the 1912/13 season, Morris didn’t feature in the side that beat Sunderland 1-0 to lift the FA Cup at Crystal Palace on 19 April 1913.
During the First World War, Morris played twice as a wartime guest for Villa and also turned out for Notts County. In 1919, Morris joined Alfreton Town and finished his career soon after at Chesterfield.
First World War Service
Private Morris enlisted in the Army Service Corps (ASC) in August 1915 and was attached to the Motor Transport (MT) section. He was sent to France within a week of enlisting and survived the war. Morris then remained in France on motor engine fitting following the Armistice.
CAREER STATISTICAL RECORD
|Season||Club||League Position||FA Cup||League Games||League Goals||FA Cup Games||FA Cup Goals|
|1907/08||Derby County||6th (Second Division)||R1|
|1911/12||Aston Villa||6th (First Division)||R2||1|
|1912/13||Aston Villa||2nd (First Division)||W||20||2||1|
|1913/14||Aston Villa||2nd (First Division)||SF||13|
|1914/15||Aston Villa||14th (First Division)||R2||16||1|
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