Why did Ulsterman Billy play in a Wolves team?

Just look at those magnificent trophies – and if it was your team which had won them, you would want to show them off as well.

The mystery 1930s Wolverhampton area team with Billy McFerran on the right end of the second row
The mystery 1930s Wolverhampton area team with Billy McFerran on the right end of the second row

But what Wolverhampton area team is this?

That's what Eddie McFerran is hoping Star readers can help him with, as the picture is special to his family, as his dad, Billy, was one of those 1930s players.

And on top of the mystery of which team is it, is piled a second mystery, as Eddie says his dad definitely never lived in Wolverhampton, and so far as he is aware had no connection with the area.

"The photograph has been in our family for many years and we have been unable to identify the team which includes my father William (Billy or Willy) McFerran. He is on the right end of the second row. We think the picture is from the mid-1930s.

"We were led to believe he played for a Wolverhampton team but we don’t know what the connection is. The picture was taken by a Wolverhampton photographer and we now know they were local cups in the picture. Our only hope is that somebody in the area may recognise the picture and fill in some more pieces."

Eddie, who is 71, says the smaller trophy has been identified as the J W Hunt Cup, played for in a competition founded in 1926 by John William Hunt, founder of the Chillington Tool Company, and raising money for the Beacon Centre for the Blind.

The larger trophy is the Wolverhampton Charity Cup.

Clearly Billy must have had some Wolverhampton links, although Eddie is not sure what they are, and is happy for any reader who can supply more information to contact him direct on 07747 441685 or eddie.mcferran@hotmail.com by email.

"Dad's full name was William Cameron McFerran, but he was known as Billy or Willy," he says.

"He was born in Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland, in 1917 and joined the Merchant Navy, serving as an engineer between 1936 and 1949. He was on the Atlantic convoys during the Second World War and was torpedoed twice but could never swim.

"After moving to Liverpool, with think around 1945, he worked for WH Smith's on the wholesale side of the business supplying to newsagents.

"In 1960 he bought his own newsagents in Garston, Liverpool, which he ran until his death in July 1982. My twin brother Eric then took over the business.

"We only know he played in Ireland for a number of local teams at club level but we have no names of these teams. He was right back.

"My younger brother Phillip had the football gene and played semi pro for a number of teams in the north west. He was player/manager for South Liverpool, playing 296 games for them in the John Aldridge era.

"My older brother John played football in Liverpool area at club level. I live in Widnes, Cheshire, but never had the yearning for football, although I go to Everton home games on occasions. I pursued squash and played at county level until 2018 when I reached the ripe age of 68. My passion now is golf."

Eddie has had chats with family members but has drawn a blank on any reason Billy would have been playing for a Wolverhampton side.

"We had heard rumours in the family that he played for a Wolverhampton team but have no idea how it happened and we don't know the connection. Going through family death certificates and birth certificates, there's no window where he would have been in Wolverhampton."

Eddie's print has a copyright stamp of the local photographer, "A. E. Magna, Photographic Artist and Commercial Photographer, Penn Road, Wolverhampton, Phone: Penn 36310."

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