G W Willie HALL (1912-1967)

Willie Hall This Is Your Life

programme details...

  • Edition No: 86
  • Subject No: 86
  • Broadcast live: Mon 16 Feb 1959
  • Broadcast time: 7.30-8.00pm
  • Venue: BBC Television Theatre
  • Series: 4
  • Edition: 21

on the guest list...

  • Mr T L Jenkins
  • Mrs Jenkins
  • Charles Abrew
  • Peter Spall
  • Peter Joynes
  • Bob Spall - via telephone
  • Stanley Matthews
  • Ernest Newark
  • Bette - wife
  • Len Snelling
  • Fred Paskell
  • Vic Buckingham
  • Pauline Jenkins

production team...

  • Researchers: Ken Smith, Liam Nolan
  • Writers: Ken Smith, Liam Nolan
  • Director: Vere Lorrimer
  • Producer: T Leslie Jackson
  • names above in bold indicate subjects of This Is Your Life
  • with thanks to Mick Gill for his contribution to this page
related pages...

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Photographs of Willie Hall This Is Your Life - and a photograph of Willie Hall's big red book

Nottingham Evening Post 10 February 2012

Football bygones: Willie Hall - Newark's forgotten hero and England record holder

By Ray Yeomans

Newark-born England striker Willie Hall holds a unique place in the record books. Ray Yeomans looks back at his career.

NEWARK-born Willie Hall was a national hero - but hardly anyone remembers the talented inside forward these days.

Hall was not a noted goalscorer. Yet he earned his place in the history of the game after scoring a record five goals in a row in a 30-minute spell, either side of half-time, for England against Northern Ireland at Old Trafford on November 16, 1938.

Hall, who formed a lethal partnership with Sir Stanley Matthews, struck three times in only three-and-a-half-minutes. It was the fastest hat-trick in international football.

George William Hall was born in Newark in March 1912 and was educated at Lover's Lane School in Newark. A schoolboy international, he was a member of the Ransome and Marles side which won the Notts Alliance title in 1929-30. His brothers, Cyril and Harry, were also footballers.

Hall signed for Notts County in 1930, at the age of 18.

But Spurs snapped him up two years later (after 35 appearances and eight goals) for a fee of £2,600, plus another £500 if he won an England cap.

Rejected for Army service on health grounds, he served with the London Police Reserve instead.

Hall turned out for Spurs during the Second World War and went on to captain the side.

He made his international debut in a 4-1 win against France in December 1933 and was capped ten times.

He played against the Rest of Europe and also played in three wartime internationals against Wales.

An ankle injury ended his career in 1944 and he took over as manager at Clapton Orient.

At the time he was the youngest manager in the Football League. He also had spells at Chelmsford City and Chingford Town.

Hall later suffered from ill health. He had a thrombosis and had both legs amputated after a series of failed operations. Testimonial games were held for him in London and Nottingham in 1946.

Nottingham Forest manager Billy Walker put out a Combined XI against an FA XI on September 18.

The Combined XI featured three Forest players - Billy Baxter, Bob McCall and Tom Johnston - along with Leon Leuty, who was a member of Derby County's 1946 FA Cup-winning team.

Leuty cost Notts County a record £20,000 when they signed him from Bradford in 1950.

An engineer at Rolls-Royce, he captained the side until his untimely death, from leukaemia, at the age of 35.

Johnston and Baxter also went on to play for Notts County. Johnston scored 92 goals in 286 games, while Baxter made 153 appearances before joining Grantham Town in 1954.

When he retired in 1952, McCall was appointed groundsman at the City Ground and also coached the A team.

The FA XI featured some of the greats in the game - Frank Swift, Billy Wright, Len Shackleton, Stan Cullis, Tom Finney and Raich Carter.

Albert Stubbins opened the scoring in the 25th minute but the Combined side hit back in the second half with two goals in five minutes from Shackleton and Edwards. Wilf Mannion got a deserved equaliser four minutes from time.

Combined XI: Middleton (Chesterfield), McCall (Nottingham Forest), Cater (West Ham), Baxter (Nottingham Forest), Leuty (Derby County), Blenkinsop (Grimsby), Hancocks (Wolves), Shackleton (Bradford), Edwards (Aston Villa), Rowley (Manchester United), Johnston (Nottingham Forest).

FA XI: Swift (Manchester City), Scott (Arsenal), Hardwick (Middlesbrough), Wright (Wolves) Cullis (Wolves), Forrest (Bolton), Finney (Preston), Mannion (Middlesbrough), Stubbins (Liverpool), Carter (Derby County), Mullen (Wolves).

Hall opened a sports shop with Spurs team-mate Vic Buckingham and in 1954, he became a publican.

His life story was featured on television by Eamonn Andrews on This is Your Life.

Hall died in 1967, aged 55, after suffering a heart attack at his sister's house in Newark, just days after watching his old side Spurs beat Chelsea in the FA Cup final.

Series 4 subjects

Jo Capka | Jimmy Edwards | Andrew Milbourne | Bella Burge | Tommy Steele | Ronald Shiner | James Edward Wood
Margaret Rowena Jones | John Griffiths | Freddy Bloom | Bransby Williams | Miriam Moses | Elsie Mullock | John Vidler
Florence Desmond | Noel Duckworth | Alfred Daniel Wintle | Ted Heath | Andrew Macdonald | Harriet Cohen
Willie Hall | Reginald Blanchford | Kenneth More | Hugh Llewelyn Glyn Hughes | Miriam Jowett | Ted Willis
Alfred Southon | Tiger Sarll | Mary Ward | Roy Gill | Stirling Moss | Ethel Goldsack | Tommy Trinder