WFFC Advent Calendar: 18 – Billy Cove

8th on our list we find Billy Cove, a player who adhered to almost every stereotype about non-league football going.

Billy made his debut at the tail end of Leyton Pennant’s first ever season, and made a further two starts after February 1996.

He started out as a full back, although he was built more like a centre half, and good some performances in the reserves saw him promoted to first team action in defence where he did a steady job.

But a lack of goals prompted the management to give Billy his chance as a striker, a role he
occupied for his Sunday side.

He had a shot like a cannon ball and his one great virtue was that most of his efforts were on target and when you hit the ball as hard as Billy it meant you were always in with a chance of a goal.

In his first full season playing up front (1997-8), he scored 16 goals in 30 matches – not bad record for a former defender!

He formed a twin strike force for best part of a season with Che Stedhart and they played up front in the final of the London Challenge Cup draw against Uxbridge at Fulham and also in the replay defeat at Hendon.

Billy decided he wanted to play for a club with more money and a better chance of promotion and at the end of the 1998-9 season he joined Maidenhead United.

In the first game of the following season we were away at Maidenhead and we came back from a goal down to win 3-1, while Billy was taken off half way through the second half.

He had the last laugh however, as Maidenhead were promoted we were relegated.

He re-emerged to play under Colin Richards at the start of the 2001-2 season, but, his reluctance to train and his increasing waistline slowly took effect and he was released after Christmas.

He moved onto the newly-formed Enfield Town where he made 34 appearances, helping them to the Essex Senior League title

Cove’s 63 goals in 130 appearances for the club makes him the club’s second all-time leading goalscorer.

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