Billy McCandless Player Profile

Player Details

  • Full Name: William McCandless
  • Born: December 20th, 1892 (Portglenone)
  • Died: July 18th, 1955 (Swansea)
  • Position: Full back
  • Signed: July 8th, 1930
  • First Manager: Selection Committee
  • Left Club: June 6th, 1933
  • Career Totals: 133 appearances, 2 goals
  • Also Played For: Barn United, Linfield, Rangers


Playing History

Season Win % Draw % Loss %
1932-1933 42 0 0 0 40.5% 16.7% 42.9%
1931-1932 44 1 0 0 52.3% 15.9% 31.8%
1930-1931 47 1 0 0 46.8% 21.3% 31.9%
Totals: 133 (0) 2


 Apps = First Team Appearances (Sub Appearances) | Gls = Goals
 GtGR = Goals to Games Ratio | W/D/L - Games won, drawn or lost as percentage of games played in
 Yel = Yellow Cards/Cautions | Red = Red Cards/Dismissals

 Recent First Team Starts
 29/04/33 vs. Belfast Celtic (A) 2 - 4
 22/04/33 vs. Bangor (H) 2 - 3
 18/04/33 vs. Larne (A) 1 - 3
 17/04/33 vs. Glenavon (A) 2 - 1
 15/04/33 vs. Derry City (A) 0 - 4

 Recent First Team Goals
 16/09/31 Quarter final vs. Ards (H) 3 - 1
 08/11/30 Irish League vs. Belfast Celtic (H) 4 - 1

 List of Goals Scored (click to expand)
 16/09/31 Quarter final vs. Ards (H)  3 - 1
 08/11/30 Irish League vs. Belfast Celtic (H)  4 - 1

 List of Games Played (click to expand)
 29/04/33 vs. Belfast Celtic (A)  2 - 4
 22/04/33 vs. Bangor (H)  2 - 3
 18/04/33 vs. Larne (A)  1 - 3
 17/04/33 vs. Glenavon (A)  2 - 1
 15/04/33 vs. Derry City (A)  0 - 4
 01/04/33 vs. Newry (H)  1 - 0
 25/03/33 vs. Linfield (A)  0 - 1
 20/03/33 vs. Glentoran (A)  0 - 4
 18/03/33 vs. Ards (H)  1 - 1
 04/03/33 vs. Portadown (A)  1 - 1
 02/03/33 Quarter final vs. Ards (A)  0 - 1
 25/02/33 vs. Coleraine (H)  3 - 1
 22/02/33 vs. Cliftonville (H)  7 - 0
 18/02/33 vs. Distillery (A)  1 - 2
 04/02/33 Irish League vs. Cliftonville (H)  1 - 1
 31/01/33 Round 1 vs. Larne (A)  5 - 1
 28/01/33 Irish League vs. Belfast Celtic (A)  2 - 7
 21/01/33 Irish League vs. Bangor (H)  1 - 3
 14/01/33 Round 1 vs. Cliftonville (H)  2 - 4
 07/01/33 Irish League vs. Portadown (A)  4 - 1
 31/12/32 Irish League vs. Derry City (H)  3 - 1
 27/12/32 Irish League vs. Distillery (A)  2 - 2
 26/12/32 Irish League vs. Linfield (H)  0 - 1
 24/12/32 Irish League vs. Larne (A)  2 - 2
 17/12/32 Irish League vs. Ards (H)  8 - 2
 10/12/32 Irish League vs. Glenavon (A)  1 - 0
 03/12/32 Irish League vs. Coleraine (H)  2 - 1
 26/11/32 Irish League vs. Glentoran (A)  1 - 6
 19/11/32 Irish League vs. Newry (H)  2 - 1
 16/11/32 Semi final - replay vs. Linfield (N)  1 - 2
 09/11/32 Semi final vs. Linfield (N)  2 - 2
 05/11/32 Irish League vs. Belfast Celtic (H)  1 - 1
 29/10/32 Irish League vs. Bangor (A)  3 - 5
 26/10/32 Irish League vs. Portadown (H)  5 - 1
 22/10/32 Irish League vs. Derry City (A)  0 - 1
 24/09/32 Irish League vs. Larne (H)  2 - 1
 10/09/32 Irish League vs. Ards (A)  4 - 0
 07/09/32 Quarter final vs. Larne (H)  5 - 1
 03/09/32 Irish League vs. Glenavon (H)  3 - 1
 27/08/32 Irish League vs. Coleraine (A)  0 - 3
 24/08/32 Irish League vs. Glentoran (H)  2 - 3
 20/08/32 Irish League vs. Newry (A)  5 - 3
 30/04/32 vs. Distillery (A)  1 - 4
 23/04/32 vs. Newry (H)  3 - 0
 16/04/32 vs. Linfield (A)  0 - 4
 09/04/32 vs. Ards (H)  4 - 1
 02/04/32 vs. Cliftonville (A)  3 - 2
 29/03/32 vs. Derry City (H)  2 - 2
 28/03/32 vs. Glenavon (A)  3 - 1
 19/03/32 vs. Larne (H)  3 - 1
 12/03/32 vs. Glentoran (A)  3 - 2
 05/03/32 vs. Coleraine (H)  4 - 0
 02/03/32 Irish League vs. Linfield (H)  2 - 0
 27/02/32 vs. Bangor (A)  0 - 2
 24/02/32 Quarter final vs. Belfast Celtic (A)  0 - 2
 20/02/32 vs. Belfast Celtic (H)  1 - 2
 13/02/32 Irish League vs. Glentoran (H)  5 - 0
 06/02/32 Irish League vs. Distillery (A)  0 - 2
 30/01/32 Irish League vs. Belfast Celtic (H)  6 - 0
 27/01/32 Round 1 vs. Brantwood (H)  4 - 1
 23/01/32 Irish League vs. Bangor (A)  3 - 2
 21/01/32 Irish League vs. Coleraine (A)  1 - 4
 16/01/32 Irish League vs. Glenavon (H)  4 - 1
 13/01/32 Quarter final - replay vs. Glentoran (A)  1 - 3
 09/01/32 Quarter final vs. Glentoran (H)  2 - 2
 02/01/32 Irish League vs. Newry (H)  6 - 2
 28/12/31 Irish League vs. Ards (A)  1 - 1
 25/12/31 Irish League vs. Larne (H)  2 - 0
 19/12/31 Irish League vs. Cliftonville (A)  1 - 1
 12/12/31 Irish League vs. Portadown (H)  2 - 3
 09/12/31 Final vs. Coleraine (N)  0 - 3
 28/11/31 Round 1 vs. Distillery (H)  3 - 1
 21/11/31 Irish League vs. Derry City (A)  2 - 2
 14/11/31 Irish League vs. Glentoran (A)  0 - 3
 07/11/31 Irish League vs. Distillery (H)  4 - 0
 31/10/31 Irish League vs. Belfast Celtic (A)  1 - 2
 24/10/31 Irish League vs. Bangor (H)  6 - 4
 21/10/31 Semi final vs. Linfield (N)  3 - 0
 10/10/31 Irish League vs. Glenavon (A)  4 - 0
 03/10/31 Irish League vs. Coleraine (H)  7 - 0
 26/09/31 Irish League vs. Newry (A)  1 - 1
 19/09/31 Irish League vs. Ards (H)  6 - 2
 16/09/31 Quarter final vs. Ards (H)  3 - 1
 29/08/31 Irish League vs. Cliftonville (H)  3 - 5
 22/08/31 Irish League vs. Portadown (A)  0 - 1
 20/08/31 Irish League vs. Derry City (H)  0 - 0
 02/05/31 vs. Bangor (H)  6 - 1
 25/04/31 vs. Larne (A)  4 - 3
 18/04/31 vs. Glenavon (H)  5 - 1
 11/04/31 vs. Coleraine (A)  3 - 2
 07/04/31 vs. Glentoran (H)  1 - 5
 06/04/31 vs. Newry (A)  0 - 1
 04/04/31 vs. Linfield (H)  2 - 4
 28/03/31 Final vs. Linfield (N)  0 - 3
 21/03/31 vs. Ards (A)  3 - 3
 14/03/31 vs. Distillery (A)  2 - 4
 07/03/31 vs. Belfast Celtic (A)  2 - 2
 28/02/31 vs. Portadown (H)  4 - 4
 14/02/31 vs. Derry City (A)  1 - 5
 11/02/31 vs. Cliftonville (H)  4 - 2
 07/02/31 Semi final vs. Derry City (N)  2 - 1
 02/02/31 Round 1 replay vs. Ards (A)  1 - 4
 28/01/31 Round 1 vs. Ards (H)  1 - 1
 24/01/31 Irish League vs. Bangor (H)  1 - 4
 21/01/31 Irish League vs. Glenavon (H)  6 - 1
 17/01/31 Irish League vs. Larne (A)  0 - 4
 14/01/31 Quarter final replay vs. Bangor (H)  2 - 0
 10/01/31 Quarter final vs. Bangor (A)  2 - 2
 03/01/31 Irish League vs. Derry City (A)  2 - 1
 27/12/30 Irish League vs. Newry (H)  6 - 1
 26/12/30 Irish League vs. Linfield (A)  1 - 2
 25/12/30 Irish League vs. Ards (H)  5 - 1
 20/12/30 Irish League vs. Glentoran (A)  2 - 2
 13/12/30 Irish League vs. Portadown (A)  1 - 3
 06/12/30 Irish League vs. Coleraine (H)  2 - 3
 29/11/30 Round 1 vs. Cliftonville (H)  2 - 1
 22/11/30 Irish League vs. Distillery (A)  2 - 1
 19/11/30 Irish League vs. Cliftonville (H)  2 - 2
 08/11/30 Irish League vs. Belfast Celtic (H)  4 - 1
 01/11/30 Irish League vs. Bangor (A)  6 - 2
 25/10/30 Irish League vs. Larne (H)  3 - 1
 18/10/30 Irish League vs. Glenavon (A)  1 - 1
 11/10/30 Irish League vs. Derry City (H)  4 - 1
 04/10/30 Irish League vs. Newry (A)  1 - 0
 27/09/30 Irish League vs. Linfield (H)  2 - 2
 20/09/30 Irish League vs. Ards (A)  6 - 3
 17/09/30 Quarter final vs. Linfield (A)  0 - 5
 13/09/30 Irish League vs. Glentoran (H)  2 - 4
 06/09/30 Irish League vs. Portadown (H)  7 - 1
 03/09/30 Round 1 vs. Newry (H)  7 - 0
 30/08/30 Irish League vs. Coleraine (A)  1 - 1
 23/08/30 Irish League vs. Distillery (H)  4 - 0
 20/08/30 Irish League vs. Cliftonville (A)  3 - 4


Biography

Once the most expensive players in Irish Football, Billy McCandless earned his status as a decorated legend at Glasgow Rangers before returning home for the twilight of his playing career.

Born in Portglenone and having lived much of his early life in Ahoghill village, Billy and his family moved to Belfast at the turn of the century. He began his football career at just 15-years-old in the North Belfast Combination League with his local club Clifton and won the title in his first season. The medal, the first of many he won in his career, was worth half-a-crown (12½p) was claimed to be one of the defender’s proudest mementos.

Employed as a post office clerk, he subsequently he signed for Ligoniel of the Football Alliance before joining Intermediate League side, Barn and competed in the Intermediate League which featured the big Irish League sides’ reserve teams throughout the war years. Despite interest from various senior clubs, he signed for Linfield in November 1915, then aged 23-years-old throughout the new look Belfast & District war-time league, making his debut against Distillery at Grosvenor Park that same month. The Blues went onto win the league. Billy was also in the eleven as Linfield won the Irish Cup in his first season via a replay against Glentoran at Grosvenor Park.

McCandless slotted into the backline with swift and consummate ease, building a formidable back-line partnership with Davy Rollo, he added the County Antrim Shield to his growing list of senior trophies when the Blues defeated Glentoran at Celtic Park in March 1917, followed by the Belfast Charities Cup which proved to the only trophies of a below-par 1916/1917 campaign. The South Belfast club bounced back and regained the league title the following season (1917/1918) also adding the Gold Cup, Charities Cup and Belfast City Cup to the trophy cabinet and then a year later (1918/1919) the Irish Cup and Gold Cup again.

Despite a barren year for Linfield as normal service resumed in post-war Ireland, 1919/1920 would be a breakthrough year for McCandless personally on the world stage, firstly with international football on the cusp of a return, Ireland played in two ‘Victory’ international against Scotland, albeit these would not be counted as full capped internationals – Billy would feature in the second match against the Scots in April 1919 in which 44,000 spectators witnessed the 0-0 draw in the familiar surroundings of Windsor Park.

In October 1919, Billy was finally selected for international honours as he started for Ireland against England (again at Windsor) in the first senior international in five years owing to the war. Despite an early setback, the reigning British Champions fought back to earn a 1-1 draw in front of over 30,000 fans. It would be the first of nine full caps over the next ten years for the then 26-year-old full-back. The following month, he captained the Irish League representative side to two matches against the Scottish and English Leagues.


McCandless’ stock was now sky high and his performance for Ireland in a 2-0 defeat by England in Sunderland in October 1920 led to several mainland clubs chasing the talented defender. Billy would eventually move to Rangers for £2,500 the following month, a record transfer fee for an Irish player at the time and bringing to a close six stellar seasons at Windsor Park which had returned X winners medals.

The defender made his debut in November 1920 in a comfortable 5-0 home win against Dundee, and was partnered at full-back with fellow Ulsterman Bert Mandelson, and the two would become the lynchpin for the ‘Gers success that was to follow. The success was instant – as Rangers lost only one league game in 42 matches, cantering to the Scottish title in 1920/1921 by a full ten points over Celtic. Defeat in the Scottish Cup Final to Partick Thistle wasn’t in the script however for McCandless’ fairytale first season in Glasgow.

Career
Clifton; Ligoniel; Barn; (Nov 1915) Linfield; (Nov 1920) Rangers; (Jul 1930) Ballymena

Managerial Career
(1933) Dundee; (1937) Newport County; (1946) Cardiff City; (1947) Swansea City

Honours
(with Linfield)
Belfast & District League: (winner) 1915/1916, 1917/1918; (runner-up) 1918/1919
Irish Cup: (winner) 1915/1916, 1918/1919; (finalist) 1917/1918
Gold Cup: (winner) 1915/1916, 1917/1918, 1918/1919
City Cup: (winner) 1919/1920
Belfast City Cup: (winner) 1917/1918; (runner-up) 1916/1917
County Antrim Shield: (winner) 1916/1917; (finalist) 1917/1918
Belfast Charities Cup: (winner) 1916/1917, 1917/1918, 1918/1919; (finalist) 1915/1916
(with Rangers)
Scottish League: (winner) 1920/1921
Scottish Cup: (finalist) 1920/1921

International Honours
Ireland (9 caps, 0 goals – 1919-1929)
Ireland Victory Representative (1 caps, 0 goals - 1919)
Irish League Representative (2 caps, 0 goals – 1919)

Last updated: 17 February 2024



Debut

August 20th, 1930
Cliftonville 4 - 3 Ballymena United

League (Irish League)


International Career (Northern Ireland)


Caps: 9

Goals: 0

International Debut: October 25th, 1919 v. England


Timeline