Bill Garner

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Bill Garner
Bill Garner.jpg
0Full Name William Garner
0Date of Birth 14 December 1947
0Place of Birth Leicester, England
0Position Centre forward
0Chelsea career 1972-1978
0Debut 9 September 1972
0Games (goals) 119 (36)
0Other clubs Leicester Victoria
Loughborough United
Midland Athletic
Notts County
Bedford Town
Southend United
Cambridge United

William "Bill" Garner (born 14 December 1947 in Leicester) is an English former centre forward who played for Chelsea between 1972 and 1978. A rugged player, he was known for his physical style and aerial ability.


Before Chelsea

Born in Leicester, where he played local football, Garner signed his first professional deal with Notts County in 1966, but soon returned to Midland League side Loughborough United, where he had previously played. He then signed for Dunstable Town of the Southern League before joining Bedford Town, but it was at his next club, Southend United, where he made his breakthrough. Having been signed for £12,000 he went on to score 47 goals in 111 games for the club, before coming to the attention of Chelsea.

Chelsea career

In September 1972, Garner played against Chelsea in a League Cup tie, and his performance impressed the Blues' management to the extent that he was signed just three days later for a fee of £100,000.

Garner made his debut immediately, coming on as a substitute in a home defeat to West Ham United on 9 September, but would have to wait until the end of the month for his first start; a win at Coventry City in which he opened the scoring. His first season at the club was affected by injury, but he nonetheless contributed 10 goals in his 25 appearances in all competitions.

Chelsea were in a period of decline during Garner's career at Chelsea, as the Cup-winning side of 1970 gradually disintegrated over the following seasons, with the new arrivals generally not possessing the ability of their predecessors. [1] Garner – perhaps typical of the more rudimentary type of player that increasingly comprised the Chelsea side – made regular appearances over this period, and though his seven league goals helped Chelsea avoid relegation in 1973-74 they were relegated the following season.

Facing lower-quality opposition in the second tier Garner might have been expected to find the net with more regularity during the 1975-76 season, but he could only contribute six goals as the Blues finished in a disappointing 11th place. Chelsea did regain top flight status following promotion the following campaign, but Garner failed to make a first team appearance during an injury-affected season. During 1977-78 Garner had a mini-renaissance in terms of goalscoring form, providing the only goal of the game in the second minute of a 1-0 away win at Old Trafford in September, and scoring in three consecutive matches immediately after Christmas, but his time at Stamford Bridge was coming to an end. His goal in a loss to West Ham United in March would prove to be his last in a Chelsea shirt and he joined Cambridge United the following November on a free transfer.

After Chelsea

Garner left Cambridge United in 1980, joining Chelmsford City, before finishing his playing career with a brief spell at Brentford.


See also: List of Bill Garner goals
Season League FA Cup League Cup Europe Other Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
1972-73 21 7 4 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 25 10
1973-74 23 7 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 23 7
1974-75 17 6 1 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 20 6
1975-76 25 6 4 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 30 8
1976-77 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
1977-78 18 5 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 20 5
1978-79 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
Total 105 31 10 5 4 0 0 0 0 0 119 36
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