William Richardson was born on the 29 May 1909 and was often referred to as “Ginger” to avoid confusion with his teammate Bill Richardson. In total he made about 320 appearances for West Brom and scored 202 goals, which was a very good career at the Baggies. He scored four goals in five minutes for West Brom against West Ham United at Upton Park on 7 November 1931.
He scored both of West Brom’s only goals when they won the 1931 FA Cup Final, beating Midlands rivals Birmingham 2–1. In the 35/36 season, he scored 39 goals, which is still the West Brom record for top scorer in the top division of the English football league system. In 2004, he was named as one of West Bromwich Albion’s 16 greatest players, in a poll organised as part of the club’s 125th anniversary celebrations.
One performance stands out above all others. It was Saturday, November 7, 1931, and Albion faced a First Division away fixture at West Ham United’s Upton Park. West Brom had enjoyed a good start to the season and were battling hard for top spot, while the Hammers had suffered mediocre form.
The match ended in a comfortable 5-1 win for the Baggies – but William Richardson scored four of their goals and all in the space of five minutes. This is a record that is still in the Guinness World Records today. “Ginger” scored his first in the fourth minute and his last in the ninth. There was no way back for the Hammers after such an onslaught so early in the game, although Jimmy Ruffell scored for the Londoners which was a mere consolation, while Teddy Sandford added a fifth for West Brom.
The 31/32 season ended with West Bromwich Albion in a creditable sixth place in Division One, 10 points from champions Everton. West Brom’s tally was: Played 42, Won 20, Drawn 6, Lost 16, goals for 77, goals against 55, points 46.
William played in all but two of the Baggies’ league games and was the club’s top scorer with 27 goals; his four against West Ham was his best performance and his only hat-trick of the season but he bagged braces against Blackpool, Huddersfield Town and Chelsea. Richardson also played and scored in West Brom’s only FA Cup match that season, a 2-1 defeat at the hands of local rivals Aston Villa.