Ex-Claret Bill dies aged 78

Bill Dodd (s)

Bill Dodd (s)

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Burnley Football Club’s former reserve reserve centre forward Bill Dodd has died.

Bill (78) was born in Bedlington in Northumberland and was one of a number of players who came from the north-east to Turf Moor in the 1950s.

He was 19 and playing for Whitley Bay FC in the North Eastern League when he was spotted by the Burnley scouts.

He played his first game for Burnley, representing the “A” team, in January 1956 and, in the 1956-57 season, he was the “A” team’s top scorer with 19 goals in the Lancashire Football League, also appearing and scoring regularly during the following campaign.

“Bill was a big man, a classic example of what used to be referred to as a bustling, old-fashioned centre forward,” said a Burnley spokesperson.

“During his two full seasons at Turf Moor he also played a number of reserve team games, notching two hat-tricks in the Central League.

“One of these was in a 5-2 victory against Blackburn Rovers Reserves in February 1958 and, in that game, his team-mates included some star names of the future, Alan Shackleton, Trevor Meredith, Adam Blacklaw and Brian Miller.”

Bill, an electrician by trade, left Turf Moor in the summer of 1958, joining Workington, then in Division Four of the Football League.

While with the Reds he made just one league appearance, also scoring the only league goal of his career.

Bill, who died in Pendleside Hospice, leaves wife Irene, daughter Sara and son Kevin.