Date and Place of Birth
22nd October 1952 - Stakeford
died 7th November 2009
Transfers to and from Burnley
youth from summer 1969
to Bradford City - August 1980 (£30,000)
First and Last Burnley Games
Hull City (h) - 12th February 1972
sub: replaced Alan West
Watford (a) - 3rd May 1980
Burnley Career Stats
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Profile by Tony Scholes
Some players can have a nickname throughout their career but Billy Ingham his came almost nine years after he'd first joined the Clarets as an apprentice. 'Ginger Pele' was afforded to him in April 1977 after he'd scored a stunning goal five minutes from the end to beat Chelsea at Turf Moor.
Billy came to Burnley from Stakeford in Northumberland, a village close to Ashington. He was just fifteen and signed up as an apprentice as the club were celebrating the winning of the FA Youth Cup in 1968.
He was to come close to his own youth cup success too, playing in the Burnley side three years later that came as close as any to emulating that 1968 team. In a team that included such as Leighton James we reached the semi-finals before going out to Cardiff.
By that time he was a regular in the reserve team but as the Clarets were relegated he still hadn't forced himself into the first team and it was in 1972 that he finally made his debut in a second division game at home against Hull City.
We lost that game 2-0 and after one more substitute appearance he got his first start on Easter Monday at Sunderland. Manager Jimmy Adamson was under real pressure and his team selection looked to have paid off with us 3-1 with thirteen minutes to go. Unfortunately it all went wrong as Sunderland scored three times in a three minute spell to win the game.
Ingham though kept his place for the rest of the season as we won the six remaining games and it did look as though he was establishing himself in the first team. He was in the starting line up for the first game of the following season but was left out for the next game and as the club stormed back into the top flight it was as a stand in that he made the biggest impact.
He started eleven of those league games that season and made a further seven appearances as a substitute. He seemed to be the replacement for any player who was out. He stood in up front for two games when Paul Fletcher was out injured, he came in for both Martin Dobson and Doug Collins in midfield and ended the season with a run of starts at right back after Mick Docherty's season came to an end through a knee injury.
Many will suggest that he was always a player who got his appearances from the bench, but that's not the case and when Burnley returned to the top flight he went on to start no less than 63 league games over the next three seasons with 33 of those coming during the 1974/75 season.
Back in the second division from 1976 and for the next three years Billy was a key member of the squad. That famous goal against Chelsea brought about the nickname but the 1978/79 season proved to be his most memorable for the Clarets.
He was a virtual ever present under the management of Harry Potts, who Billy always spoke about with such affection. He played 52 games that season with not one of them from the bench, and he netted no fewer than 13 goals in all competitions including two in the Anglo-Scottish Cup success.
Unfortunately for him it was to be his last season as a first team player. He was in the team for the first six games but lost his place. Brian Miller replaced Potts as manager and Billy's only other first team game was against Watford on the last day of the season.
By the time the 1980/81 season had started he'd moved to Bradford City in a £30,000 move. He enjoyed two seasons at Valley Parade and was a major player in their promotion in the second of those seasons.
Injury ruled him out of the run in and he was released at the end of that season bringing an end to his Football League career at the age of just 29.
He played for Accrington Stanley in non-league football for a short time whilst away from the game he became a familiar figure locally as a bus driver for Burnley & Pendle buses.
His career might not have been over because four years after leaving Bradford City he was given the chance to return to Turf Moor. Miller had returned as manager and with a squad hardly equipped for league football he turned to Billy for help. He turned the chance down having been out of the professional game for four years.
He continued working as a bus driver for many years and was always keen to chat to Burnley fans about his time at the club or the club's fortunes in general. He always retained a deep affection for the club and the town of Burnley remained his home.
Sadly, over the last year or so, Billy has had a long battle against illness. That battle was lost on Saturday 7th November two days after he had been re-admitted to hospital.
Billy Ingham had played in the Burnley team that won 1-0 at St. James' Park against Newcastle in April 1976, the last time Burnley had won points away from home in the top flight.
We'd all returned from Manchester City celebrating the point we'd got from a 3-3 draw before the news broke of his sad death. Talk turned away from the performance and to Billy with many messages left on the Clarets Mad message board.
Billy Ingham was never one of the star names on the team sheet for Burnley, but Billy Ingham was a vital member of our squad for over seven seasons during the 1970s.
Such was his popularity, and that of his nickname, that as Burnley headed into the play offs in 2009 that led to us reaching the Premier League, a local bakery was selling special gingerbread men complete with claret and blue kits. They called them 'Ginger Peles'. Billy Ingham will always be remembered by Burnley fans.