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A tribute to great players from the period 1965/66 to 1979/80, particularly highlighting their appearance in football cards. For more see the Player Pages Index.
Willie Carlin

A list of all of the appearances of this player in football cards in the period 1965/66 to 1979/80 appears at the foot of this page.

1965/66 Barratt & Co. Ltd.
Famous Footballers A13, No. 27

1969/70 A&BC Gum
Footballers (Green backs), No. 158

(wearing Millwall colours as apparently Derby forgot their strip that day!)

1969/70 IPC Magazines
My Favourite Soccer Stars, Buster, No. 30

1971/72 FKS Publishers
Wonderful World of Soccer Stars, No.

1971/72 FKS Publishers
Wonderful World of Soccer Stars, No.
Willie Carlin, born in Liverpool in October 1940, was a much travelled footballer.

A fast and classy though tough inside-forward, he won England caps at schoolboy and youth levels, despite being small (he was about 5' 4" tall, and weighed less than 10st.). His professional career began with Liverpool as a 17-year old junior in May 1958, and he made his debut on October 10 1959, aged 19 years and 4 days. His debut ended up being his only appearance for the Reds!

In August 1962, aged 21, Carlin was transferred to Halifax Town, then in the Third Division, for £1,500. In his first season with Halifax they finished bottom of the Division (conceding 106 goals!), so Carlin played the 1963/64 season in the Fourth Division, with Halifax finishing 10th.

In October 1964 the 24-year old Carlin was transferred to Carlisle United for a fee of £10,000 to be part of the team recently promoted from the Fourth Division. In 1964/65 Carlisle topped the Third Division in a very close finish, and Carlin, with a Championship medal, found himself playing Second Division football in 1965.

The 1965/66 Barratt cards notes: "
Showed lots of promise with his original club Liverpool without getting a first team break, so Willie moved on to Halifax and became captain of the struggling Yorkshire club. They sold him early in 1964-65 for £10,000 to Carlisle, who got full value for their money when inside-man Carlin was the ace schemer in the side which topped the Third Division".

Carlin broke his leg early in the 1965/66 season, but recovered to contribute to the team's 14th place finish in the Division. In 1966/67 Carlisle finished 3rd in the Second Division, narrowly missing out on promotion to the top flight.

In 1967 Carlin was transferred for a £40,000 fee to First Division Sheffield United. He is fondly remembered by Carlisle fans for his contribution to their club, including a total of 95 league appearances.

The 1968/69 A&BC Yellow back card notes: "
A very skilful inside forward, Carlin was transferred from Carlisle United in September 1967. Started his career with Liverpool, but first commanded a first team place with Halifax..."

In the 1967/68 season Sheffield United finished 21st, and were relegated. Carlin was transferred in August 1968 to Derby County, then in the Second Division. The transfer fee was £63,000 (a club record fee at the time) and Carlin's new manager was Brian Clough. He had made only 36 appearances for the Blades.

The 1969/70 A&BC Green back card notes: "
At 5ft. 4ins. he is one of the game's smallest players, but also one of the most effective. Signed from Sheffield United, he gave Derby the midfield control they needed to clinch a promotion, making many of their goals. Not noted as a goal scorer, he has played in all four divisions".

Derby topped the Second Division in 1968/69, earning Carlin his second Championship medal. In the 1969/70 season Derby County finished 4th in the top flight, Carlin's highest ever finish.

The 1969/70 Buster card notes:
"The wee wizard inside-forward cost Derby £60,000 in September 1968 when he was signed from Sheffield United. Liverpool-born, he won a Schools cap in 1959... He's a tiny terror in attack.".

The 1970/71 A&BC Orange back notes: "...Carlin settled straight away into the side to provide the midfield work that brought so much success to the Baseball Ground last season. Previously with Halifax and Carlisle United, he is now rated in the £100,000 class".

Early in the 1970/71 season Willie Carlin, then aged almost 30, was transferred to Leicester City, then in the Second Division, after making 89 league appearances for the Rams. Leicester ended up winning the Division, earning Carlin his 3rd Championship medal.

However, he stayed with Leicester for less than 12 months, making 31 league appearances before a move in September 1971 to Notts County, then in the Third Division. He stayed with Notts County for two years (57 appearances), before transferring to Second Division Cardiff City in November 1973.

He appeared for Cardiff 22 times. His last league appearance on 30 April 1974 was in the home game against Crystal Palace which helped decide which of the two clubs would be relegated to the Third Division. The match finished in a draw, meaning that Cardiff City stayed up, and Palace were relegated.

Willie Carlin was one of the more diminutive players to play in the Football League but was, by all accounts, an exciting player who knew how to make rather than score goals. He played for a total of eight League clubs in a 15-year career, making over 400 League appearances. After football he ran a bar in Majorca for a while before returning to England.

1968/69 A&BC Gum
Footballers (Yellow backs), No. 41

1969/70 FKS Publishers
Wonderful World of Soccer Stars, No. 76

1970/71 A&BC Gum
Footballers (Orange backs), No. 182

1971/72 A&BC Gum
Footballers (Purple backs), No. 154

Football cards issued in the period 1965/66 to 1979/80
(note: this is an incomplete list, and will updated as new information is obtained).
Season Maker Set Team Card ref.
1965/66 Barratt & Co Famous Footballers A13 Carlisle United 27
1968/69 A&BC Gum Footballers, Yellow backs, Series 1 (001-054) Sheffield United 41
1969/70 A&BC Gum Football Facts, Green backs, Series 3 (117-170) Derby County 158
1969/70 FKS Publishers The Wonderful World of Soccer Stars Derby County 76
1969/70 IPC Magazines / Fleetway My Favourite Soccer Stars (Blue backs), Buster Derby County 30
1970/71 A&BC Gum Footballers, Orange backs, Series 3 (170-255) Derby County 182
1970/71 FKS Publishers The Wonderful World of Soccer Stars Derby County 91
1971/72 A&BC Gum Footballers, Purple backs, Series 2 (110-219) Leicester City 154
1971/72 FKS Publishers The Wonderful World of Soccer Stars Leicester City 137
1972/73 Top Sellers Football 72 Leicester City 171