Player profile

Billy McOwen

Birthdate: April 1871
Birthplace: Blackburn, England
Other clubs: Cherry Tree, Blackburn Olympic, Blackburn Rovers (1886-90), Darwen (1890-92), Blackpool (1894-95), Nelson (1895-96)
Bought from: Darwen
Signed for LFC: N/A, 25.07.1892
Liverpool debut: 15.04.1893
Last appearance: 14.04.1894
Contract expiry: 1894
Win ratio: 74.07% W: 20 D: 6 L: 1
Honours: Second Division 1893/94
LFC league games/goals: 23 / 0
Total LFC games/goals: 27 / 0

Player profile

"Many supporters of the Darwen Football Club will regret to hear that W McOwen, the former goalkeeper, has severed his connection with the club. Some time ago the committee engaged Chalmers, the Middlesbrough goalkeeper, and it was thought that the club would retain the services of the little champion from Blackburn. McOwen has, however, obtained his release from the club in the "Salmon Town", and signed for the Liverpool club. The popular custodian was formally transferred by the Darwen committee on Monday last," reported the Blackburn Standard on Saturday, July 30 1892. This article signalled the beginning of Billy McOwen's Liverpool career. McOwen was not a regular in Liverpool's first-ever season as Sidney Ross stood in goal, but after he retired through injury McOwen had the honour of being Liverpool's first-ever goalkeeper in a Football League match at Middlesbrough Ironopolis on 2 September 1893. He played in 23 of the 28 second division matches and conceded only 16 goals without losing a single match during the whole campaign! McOwen was a schoolboy prodigy and featured for Blackburn between 15-19 being the youngest goalkeeper in the League. McOwen needed to be a tough character playing in goal when 'keepers got no protection from referees. They were frequently rushed by attackers and lying on the ground with three or four players on top of them after an attack came with the territory.

The ingenious McOwen tried everything to prevent a goal as reported by the Blackburn Standard on 30 December 1893. "McOwen, the Liverpool Football Club goalkeeper, (says Pastime) jumps up and pulls the crossbar down when the ball appears likely to hit it. The Football Association has ruled that in the case of a temporary displacement of the bar the referee may award a goal if, in his opinion, the ball has passed under the place where the bar ought to have been. If a referee will allow a goal when the ball passes just over the bar while McOwen is hanging on to it, it may deter this ingenious player from practicing a not very desirable trick. Other goalkeepers with the same trick are Oglivie (Blackburn Rovers) and Hillman (Burnley). It makes the crowd laugh, but it doesn't look fair."

McOwen was a dentist and when Liverpool were promoted to the First Division he left the club as he would make a much better living pulling teeth rather than saving shots! He was reinstated as an amateur and played with Blackpool and later with Nelson. McOwen was an expert in saving penalties and during his career he faced 13 penalty kicks and saved 12 of them!

Appearances per season

1892-1893 000011
1893-1894 23300026

A more detailed look at the player's appearances

2Birmingham City
2Port Vale
2Grimsby Town
2Notts County
2Lincoln City
2Burton Swifts
2Middlesbrough I.
2Rotherham Town
1Northwich Vict.
1Newcastle United
1Preston North End
1Manchester City
1Bolton Wanderers
3FA Cup
1Lancashire League

Goals per season

1892-1893 000000
1893-1894 000000

A more detailed look at the player's goalscoring

No records to display.
No records to display.
TotalGoal minute period
TotalOpen play/Penalty
0Open play

Wartime Appearances / Goals

No records to display.

Stats note

Milestone Appearances

115.04.1893Southport CentralScarisbrick New Road Other

Related Articles

McOwen becomes a dentist

From Western Mail, Cardiff on 1 June, 1894.More

Liverpool prepare for Newton Heath

Cricket and football Field on 21 April, 1894.More

Liverpool Mercury report

Liverpool Mercury report on Liverpool 2 - 1 Notts County on 18 November 1893.More

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