William (Billy Hough) was born in Greenfield on 4th March 1908. He played for Holywell Arcadians and New Brighton before joining Preston North End in 1931. He played in several different positions but he eventually established himself as the team's right-back.
By the 1933-34 season Hough was a member of a a talented squad that included Bill Shankly, George Holdcroft, Robert Kelly, Frank Gallimore, Bill Tremelling, Jimmy Milne, John Pears, John Palethorpe, Henry Lowe, George Fitton, Frank Beresford and George Bargh.
Two strikers, George Stephenson and Jimmy Dougal also joined the club that season. Preston North End at last achieved promotion to the First Division when they finished runners-up to Grimsby Town. Stephenson had a great season scoring 16 goals in 25 games whereas Palethorpe scored 11 in 18.
Hough suffered from a succession of injuries and played few games during the next two seasons. In 1937 Hough joined Blackburn Rovers in the Second Division of the Football League. In the 1938-39 season he helped Blackburn get promotion to the First Division.
Billy Hough's career in professional football came to an end on the outbreak of the Second World War.