August 1937 saw the arrival of a young man - Billy Bly - whose physical stature was small but who, in so many other ways, was a giant. The biggest tragedy in writing this short biography is that the Honours section is incomplete. Apart from representing Newcastle Boys and B.A.O.R. (British Army on the Rhine) there is little tangible evidence of the calibre of Bly's ability. On every occasion when Bly was close to, or indeed had been selected for representative honours, some act of goalkeeping bravery, resulting in injury, denied him the reward that was rightfully his.
Like so many others, Bly's professional career had only just begun when, with the outbreak of the 2nd World War, he was required to attend to other issues. During the war years Bly was still able to play the game he loved ,representing the Army on a number of occasions and also playing for the Combined Services in what amounted to a team of full internationals, with the exception of Bly. He never looked out of place in such company though. Returning to the Tigers after the War his career was to continue until the early 60's, which meant that he became one of a small band of players whose career spanned 4 decades. It was a remarkable achievement and throughout this time his agility, good positional sense and undoubted bravery earned him a string of rave reviews.
Bly had the distinction of keeping goal for the Tigers in their first League match at Boothferry Park and whilst he managed to keep a clean sheet in a 0-0 draw with Lincoln City, he also suffered yet another of the injuries that were to plague his career. Without these regular enforced absences it is quite possible that it would be the name of Bly forever immortalised as the Club's record appearance holder. Those injuries were no doubt some of the low points in Bly's time with the Tigers, but to balance the scales there were undoubtedly high points, the winning of the D3N championship in 1948/49, the FA Cup quarter final against Manchester Utd and promotion from Division 3 in 1958/59. Any Tigers team that took to the field was enriched with the presence of Bly between the posts and he would be the choice of many Tigers fans as the Custodian in a 'greatest ever' Hull City XI.