Taddy & Co. produced three sets of cards in their Prominent Footballer series. This is the sixth QPR card that I have featured from the first series in 1907.
These cards were issued with ‘Myrtle Grove’ cigarettes and on the reverse side of the card it reads: ‘A ripe, full flavoured Pipe Tobacco, fine cut. In a good well-seasoned briar or a well-coloured meerschaum it will be found an admirable tobacco.’
William Edwin Barnes was born in West Ham on 20th May 1879. The son of a dockworker, his mother ran a coffee shop in Silvertown in the East End. Apparently his brother Alfred was a Labour politician who was later appointed the Minister of Transport.
He moved from Thames Ironworks to Sheffield United and scored the winning goal for the Blades in the 1902 FA Cup Final replay against Southampton.
Billy was signed from Luton Town and made his Rangers debut on 2nd September 1907 against Tottenham Hotspur. He went on to make 234 appearances for QPR (including the Charity Shield matches against Manchester United and Blackburn Rovers) and scored 37 goals. Billy also represented the Southern League against the Scottish League on one occasion.
He was transferred to Southend United in 1913 and after the end of the First World War he moved to Spain to coach Bilbao. Billy passed away in 1962.