Bill Dolman came through Birmingham League football with Willenhall to join Chesterfield as a 23-year-old in 1929. The Spireites signed this strongly-built ex-furnaceman despite the attentions of a number of other League clubs.  With Bernard Bilcliff  and  George Peake both out of form, Bill went straight into the first team and was ever-present in the `30-1 Third (North) championship side. Bill started as first choice upon the Spireites' elevation to Division Two but a general lack of confidence in the defence led to the signing of the experienced George Ashmore, who restricted Bill to just six more League appearances despite leaking goals by the bucketful himself.

 

In `32-3, Bill suffered the misfortune to play in Chesterfield's (then) club-record 1-9 defeat at Port Vale, although it would be unfair to hold him solely responsible for the club's miserable showing that day.

 

Bill was allowed to leave for a small fee in the summer of 1933, after the club had signed Jack Moody from Manchester United. He found  an appreciative audience for his talents first at Bristol City, then Luton Town, with whom he won another Third Division championship medal - this time, for the southern section - in 1937. His continuing to hold down a place at a second division club indicates that, with  a little more faith (and a broader outlook on defensive problem-solving),  Chesterfield might  have made more of Bill Dolman.

 

Bill overcame a cartilage operation at Luton in December 1937 but finally lost his place in November 1938. He joined some old Chesterfield team-mates at Chelmsford City in March 1939 but returned to the black country after war broke out, to become a reserve police sergeant,

 

Privately, Bill was a keen pigeon racer and an accomplished table-tennis player.


For Chesterfield: 103 FL appearances (24 clean sheets, 162 conceded.)