|Full name||William Albert James Manuel|
|Date of birth||28 June 1969|
|Place of birth||Hackney, England|
|Playing position||Left back, Midfielder|
|1994||→ Stevenage Borough (loan)||3||(0)|
|2003||Windsor & Eton|
|1999–2000||Folkestone Invicta (assistant)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
William Albert James Manuel (born 28 June 1969) is an English retired professional football left back and midfielder, best remembered for his time in the Football League with Brentford and Gillingham. His tenacious performances in midfield for Brentford led to the nickname 'Billy the Pit Bull'.
- 1 Career
- 2 Management career
- 3 Personal life
- 4 Honours
- 5 Career statistics
- 6 References
- 7 External links
Manuel began his career in the youth systems at First Division clubs Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur, before dropping down to the Third Division to sign for Gillingham on 10 February 1989. His addition to the squad failed to help the struggling club avoid relegation to the Fourth Division at the end of the 1988–89 season and Manuel remained at Priestfield for two more forgettable seasons before leaving in June 1991. He made 97 appearances and scored four goals for the Gills.
Manuel moved back up to the Third Division to sign for Brentford in a £60,000 deal on 14 June 1991, to bring stability to the left back position. He made 45 appearances during the 1991–92 season and won the first silverware of his career when the Third Division title was clinched at the end of the campaign. In the newly renamed First Division, Manuel moved into the midfield and impressed enough to be voted the Brentford supporters' Player of the Year at the end of the season, though it would end in disappointment with relegation straight back to the Second Division. New manager David Webb installed Manuel as captain for the 1993–94 season and moved him to left back, though he gradually fell out of favour and was released in August 1994. Manuel made 115 appearances and scored two goals during three seasons with Brentford.
Stevenage Borough (loan)
Return to Peterborough United
Manuel re-signed for Peterborough United on 28 February 1995, four months after leaving the club. He made 35 appearances and scored five goals before leaving London Road for the final time on 25 January 1996.
Return to Gillingham
Manuel rejoined Gillingham, then flying high in the Third Division, on 26 January 1996. He helped the Gills to promotion to the Second Division with a second-place finish at the end of the 1995–96 season and made 11 appearances in 1996–97, before being released at the end of the campaign. In both his spells with Gillingham, Manuel made 118 appearances and scored four goals.
Manuel dropped back down to the Third Division to sign for Barnet prior to the beginning of the 1997–98 season. He made 38 appearances and scored one goal before being released at the end of the 1998���99 season.
Manuel dropped into non-league football in 1999 and signed for Southern League First Division East club Folkestone Invicta and helped the club to promotion to the Premier Division in his first season. He was released as part of a cost-cutting exercise in December 2000. He moved on to play for Horsham, Grays Athletic, Tonbridge Angels, Bromley, Windsor & Eton, Waltham Forest and Metrogas before retiring in 2005.
While a player at Folkestone Invicta, Manuel was also the club's assistant manager.
|Club||Season||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Other||Total|
|Stevenage Borough (loan)||1994–95||Conference||2||0||—||—||1[c]||0||3||0|
|Cambridge United||1994–95||Second Division||10||0||2||0||—||—||12||0|
|Peterborough United||1994–95||Second Division||14||1||—||—||—||14||1|
- Haynes, Graham; Coumbe, Frank (2006). Timeless Bees: Brentford F.C. Who's Who 1920–2006. Harefield: Yore Publications. p. 100. ISBN 978-0955294914.
- Triggs, Roger (2001). The Men Who Made Gillingham Football Club. Tempus Publishing Ltd. pp. ptbc. ISBN 0-7524-2243-X.
- Billy Manuel at Soccerbase
- "Gillingham FC Career Details". Retrieved 19 April 2018.
- Croxford, Lane & Waterman 2013, p. 82-89.
- Croxford, Mark; Lane, David; Waterman, Greville (2013). The Big Brentford Book Of The Nineties. Sunbury, Middlesex: Legends Publishing. pp. 477–479. ISBN 9781906796723.
- Croxford, Lane & Waterman 2013, p. 172.
- "BoroGuide | Stevenage Players | Billy Manuel". www.boroguide.co.uk. Retrieved 22 December 2016.
- "Games played by Billy Manuel in 1996/1997". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 2 September 2015.
- Folkestone Invicta F.C. at the Football Club History Database
- "Fifc latest". archive.folkestoneinvicta.co.uk. Retrieved 2 September 2015.[dead link]
- "Billy Manuel's Career – UpThePosh! The Peterborough United Database". www.uptheposh.com. Retrieved 2 September 2015.
- "Where Are They Now? Brentford Division Three Champions 1991–92". The League Paper. Retrieved 9 October 2015.
- Street, Tim (27 April 2017). "Why former Brentford favourite wants to help players struggling with life after football". getwestlondon. Retrieved 27 April 2017.
- "Billy Manuel's Matches For Peterborough – UpThePosh! The Peterborough United Database". www.uptheposh.com. Retrieved 22 December 2016.
- "Games played by Billy Manuel in 1997/1998". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 22 December 2016.
- "Games played by Billy Manuel in 1998/1999". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 22 December 2016.
- Billy Manuel at Soccerbase