Billy McLeod
Billy McLeod
Billy McLeod
● Billy McLeod, 1980 (SP)

born in Scotland

William Campbell McLeod was born on Monday, 17th July, 1961, in Dumfries.

The 5' 8 (11st 4lbs) forward signed for Bertie Auld's Thistle on Tuesday, 5th August, 1980, having most recently been with Ipswich Town.

Aged 19, he made his debut appearance on Wednesday, 6th August, 1980, in a 3-2 win at home to Rangers in the Anglo-Scottish Cup.

There were no goals for Billy during his spell with Thistle.

He played his last game for the club on Monday, 20th October, 1980, in a 2-1 defeat (aet) away to Celtic in the League Cup, having appeared as a Jag on 5 occasions.

Billy's club-list included Ipswich Town, Partick Thistle, Queen of the South and Kello Rovers.

Bio Extra

Managers and players don’t always see eye-to-eye when it comes to contracts. Back in August 1980, Partick Thistle boss, Bertie Auld, wasn’t a happy man. He was displeased that defenders John Marr and Andy Anderson had turned down new deals. Auld was also upset with teenage striker, Billy Mcleod. He claimed the player said he wouldn’t be back unless he got more money. As Billy recalls, the dispute wasn’t as clear-cut as it seemed. “I didn’t ask for a rise – I asked for expenses” he insisted.


I was a part- time player coming from Kirkconnel in Dumfries & Galloway to Glasgow for training. All I was asking for was travelling expenses. Everyone else was getting them. It was portrayed that I thought I was some sort of big shot looking for big money. That could not have been further from the truth. I played against Rangers one week, and the next I went all the way to Dundee and was substitute against Dundee United reserves. That was my punishment. Bertie and I fell out a number of times, but he kept Partick Thistle in the top league for years and I’ve got a lot of respect for him.

Billy had started the season in style. He said: “I made my league debut against Hearts on the opening day of Premier Division season and hit the post after two minutes. We won 3-2 and they gave me miles of room. I thought I was going to have a field day if I got that sort of space every week.

That first league match came three days after a memorable victory over Rangers. Billy recalled:


We won 3- 2 at Firhill in the Anglo-scottish Cup. That was fantastic for me because I’d supported Rangers since I was a wee boy. I was getting a rub- down from Jackie Husband, the physio, and I yawned. He said he’d never seen a young lad so relaxed. In hindsight, I was maybe a bit too laid-back.

Things weren’t as relaxed in the home dugout. Billy went on: “Colin Jackson gave me two or three digs and it didn’t go down well. Bertie said I’d be getting subbed if I didn’t give some back. I went up for a ball, left my elbow in, and burst Colin’s eye. He kicked me and got a red card.” Rangers got their revenge a few days later. Billy said: “They beat us 4-0 at Ibrox. Big Tam Forsyth kicked me from pillar to post. Afterwards he said, ‘You’re a nippy wee boy. Come on and we’ll go for a pint’.

Billy joined Thistle after two years with Ipswich Town. He said:


I went there from Ayr United Boys Club because I had such a high regard for Bobby Robson. It also helped that they had such a big Scottish contingent of players. Suffering a broken leg in a tackle by Steve Bruce at Gillingham didn’t do me any favours. I spent a month with Aberdeen, and then scored two goals for Thistle in a trial game against Rangers. John Greig asked me if my future was sorted, and I had to say I wouldn’t go back on my word about signing at Firhill.

Billy was with Queen of the South after leaving the Jags. He added:


I was a regular until Drew Busby took over from Harry Hood as manager and wanted to play up front. We were playing St Johnstone one weekend, and I was waiting for the bus when director Sammy Harkness, who had a headstones business, pulled up in a van. He told us to take two headstones out of the van and put them on the bus. He said: ‘If I’m paying for the coach, I’m not driving those to Perth myself’. So we travelled to Muirton Park with two headstones occupying the front seat!

Going into his 60s, Billy, a father of three and a Grandad, was running Wisely Home Improvements in Sanquhar, and also his own funeral directors business.


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