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Billy Gallacher dies at 76

Sad news reaches us from the Ex-Players Association.

20 October 2021

More sad news for Wycombe Wanderers and their Ex-Players Association with the death of Billy Gallacher at the age of 76. Earlier in the year he had returned home after spending six weeks in hospital with Covid which delayed a heart pacemaker insertion. What helped his partial recovery then was a surprise telephone call from his idol Denis Law.

Billy based his football style on the Manchester United Scottish international – but, as he freely admitted, without quite the same success. Living next to the old ground in Suffield Road, he did graduate from being a cheeky ballboy at Loakes Park in the 1950s to playing. He became close friends with all the FA Amateur Cup Final side especially Paul Bates, then actually donned  a Blues’ senior shirt twice himself in 1963 after an excellent schoolboy career with East End Utd and Hazlemere.

But many more than football followers will recall his fantastic money-raising feats – nearly £50,000 donated to Scannappeal – with his Elvis Presley silver-suited renditions at clubs and pubs including a couple of appearances on stage at WWEPA events.

Despite his pacemaker - which he naturally christened Gerry - Billy was a regular in the Ex-Players box with grandson Oscar and wife Christine was happy that he managed to view this season’s revival including a last visit to Adams Park for the victory over Gillingham.

Our thoughts are with Christine, sons Andrew and Paul, daughter Jackie and his seven grandchildren.

The two faces of Billy. As a member of the Wanderers’ Youth team in 1961 before a new life as an Elvis impersonator. His teammates pictured from the 60s – seven of whom went on to play for Wycombe’s senior side – were (back l-r): Peter Sewell, Les Merrick, Tom Gomm, John Randall, Martin Priestley, Bob Cross. Ft: Roger Fieldhouse, John Cooper, Billy Gallacher, Bob Lacey, Bob Gomm. Billy also teamed up again with Les Merrick at a WWEPA reunion at Adams Park when he was joined by Trevor & Colin Bunting, Keith Samuels & Johnny Hutchinson. Bottom left, Billy (black jersey, middle) training under Barry Darvill in the early 60s.

Meanwhile, the thoughts of all at Wycombe Wanderers are with the club’s former Reserve team manager Tim Anning and family after the death of wife Debbie. Aged 66, she had been battling cancer for the past two years but died peacefully at their Chinnor home this morning.

Debbie leaves sons Timmy and Lee, daughter Kate and five grandchildren. Tim, like brother Gordon, is an active member of WWEPA and our sympathy goes out to them all.

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