It is with sadness that we have to report the passing of another of Swindon Town’s League Cup winning squad of 1969.
Willie spent four years at the County Ground, from 1966 to 1970, when he moved to Walsall for three seasons. He was then appointed manager at Cheltenham, but while there he regularly flew out to Ireland on Sundays to play for Dundalk!
In November 1964 he had shown his striking prowess at Swindon, netting twice as Newcastle United won 6-1 on their way to winning promotion to the top division, while earlier in his career Fife-born Willie had spent five years at Ibrox.
Danny Williams signed him for around £10,000 at the end of August 1966 and Willie grabbed twelve goals in his first season in Wiltshire, playing alongside Dennis Brown and then Pat Terry.
Five goals in 13 games followed at the start of 1967/68, but the manager then encouraged Willie to switch to more of an attacking midfield role and by the time the side had advanced to Wembley, he had lost his regular place and made only eleven starts that season.
Back in the Fourth Round, Willie had struck the last goal (pictured) in a 3-0 replay victory over Coventry City and he also started in the Fifth Round tie at Derby.
For all three semi-final games against Burnley he sat on the bench - being thrust into the action in the third at the Hawthorns, replacing Don Heath at the start of the crucial period of extra-time. And at Wembley he came on with twelve minutes of normal time remaining, replacing John Smith and ensuring that the fine work in the centre of the park continued as one of the biggest upsets in the modern era of the game unfolded in extra time.
Swindon Town Football Club extends its condolences to all Willie’s family and friends at this sad time.