Tribute to Latics wing-half Spurdle

Date published: 21 June 2011

FORMER Athletic wing-half Bill Spurdle, who made more than 200 appearances for the club either side of a successful spell at Manchester City in the 1950s, has died aged 85.
Born in St Peter Port, Guernsey, Bill was evacuated to Oldham at the age of 14 before the German occupation of the Channel Islands.

After his demob from the Navy, he signed for the Boundary Park side in March, 1948.

He became a regular wing-half and after impressing against City, moved to Maine Road for a fee of £12,000.

After playing 172 games for City — including an FA Cup final in a losing cause against Newcastle United in 1955, becoming the first and only Guernsey-born player to appear in the showpiece event — Bill left to join Port Vale.

He returned to his Athletic roots for six further seasons.

After completing his double-century of matches, Bill turned down the offer of a manager’s role at Boundary Park upon his retirement from the game.

He and his wife Marjorie returned to Guernsey to run the family market garden business.

In January, 2010, Bill was inducted into The Guernsey Sporting Heroes Hall of Fame, with City ambassador Mike Summerbee and former team-mate Johnny Williamson flying out to perform the ceremony.

Bill leaves two sons, John and Roger, and a daughter, Kay.