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Bill Julian

Personal information
Full nameJohn William Julian
Date of birth10 July 1867
Place of birthBoston, Lincolnshire, England
Date of death14 March 1957
Place of deathEnfield, London, England
Playing positionWing half

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John William "Bill" Julian (10 July 1867 14 March 1957) was an English football player and coach.

Born in Boston, Lincolnshire, he first played for his local side Boston Town before moving to Royal Arsenal in 1889, following a match between the two on Good Friday of that year. He played in Arsenal's very first FA Cup tie, against Lyndhurst on 5 October 1889, and soon earned a reputation as a determined and tough-tackling wing-half. He became club captain in 1890, and was still captain when Arsenal turned professional in 1891.

However, he was replaced as Arsenal captain in October 1891 by new arrival Sandy Robertson (who had previously played for Preston North End's 1888-89 Double-winning side), and although assured of a place in the first team, he decided to step down to the reserves. In the summer of 1892, he moved to Luton Town, to become the club's captain and coach. He played 4 FA Cup ties and 71 other senior matches for Woolwich Arsenal.

After two years at Luton, he joined Tottenham Hotspur (thus making him the first person to play for both Spurs and Arsenal, albeit long before the latter moved to north London in 1913), and played in Spurs' very first FA Cup tie, a first qualifying match against West Hertfordshire, on 13 October 1894; Spurs won 3-2. He left Tottenham in 1895, and finished his career at Dartford; however he remained local to Woolwich Arsenal and later opened a sports shop in Plumstead.

Julian retained his footballing ties after retiring from playing, and some time after 1906 moved to the Netherlands to coach there, with his sons Joseph and Harry, who both also coached a number of teams in the Netherlands. Among the clubs he coached for were MVV, VVV, PSV and HFC Haarlem, and he was head coach at first HBS Craeyenhout and then Feyenoord between 1921 and 1922; he left Feyenoord after the club were unable to pay his wages. He trained at Be Quick 1887 and N.E.C. before he returned to England in 1940 to live in Enfield, London.

He was one of the longest-surviving members of Arsenal's first professional side, along with Gavin Crawford and Jack McBean. The three were reunited at an Arsenal game against Chelsea on 20 March 1948 (by which time Arsenal were one of the leading sides in English football), an event recorded in The Official Illustrated History of Arsenal. He lived until the age of 89, dying in Enfield in 1957, outliving both Crawford and McBean to make him the last surviving member of Arsenal's first professional team.

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