Lacey, William (‘Billy’) (1889–1969), soccer player, was born in 1889 in Co. Wexford. In the 1906–7 season he made his first appearance in the Shelbourne soccer club's senior team, having played for Shelbourne Boys the previous year. Playing two seasons with Shelbourne (1906–7, 1907–8), he won a Leinster senior cup and was runner-up in the Irish FA cup in his last year there, before transferring to Everton (August 1908). During 1909–12 he made 37 league appearances for Everton, scoring 11 goals, 8 of them in the 1911–12 season, making him the club's joint leading scorer that year. Moving to Everton's city rivals Liverpool (February 1912) in exchange for two Liverpool players, Harold Uren and Tommy Gracie (a deal which was considered more beneficial to Liverpool), he entered the most successful phase of his career. In 67 league appearances (1912–14) he scored 10 goals. He was not a prolific scorer; his best strike rate was recorded in the 1913–14 FA cup season, in which he scored 5 goals in 8 games, helping Liverpool reach the final which they lost to Burnley. Lacey's international career also flourished during this prewar period. Selected in February 1909 for the first of 23 international caps for the Irish Football Association (Ireland and subsequently Northern Ireland), he scored 3 goals, 2 of them in Ireland's 3–0 defeat of England in the 1914 British international championship. A subsequent 1–1 draw with Scotland at Windsor Park, Belfast (during which Lacey played part of the game as goalkeeper), won that year's championship for Ireland. In 1919 he also played for Ireland against Scotland in the victory international. When the English league was suspended for the duration of the world war, he returned to Ireland to play for Shelbourne (1915–16) and Linfield (1916–19), winning an Irish FA cup medal in 1919. Liverpool retained his registration during the war years and he subsequently returned to the club for five more seasons (1919–24), winning the English league on two occasions (1922, 1923). In all, he made 257 appearances for Liverpool. He played his last season in England with New Brighton in 1924–5, before returning to Shelbourne, where he played till 1932, winning a League of Ireland championship (1929) and a League of Ireland shield (1930). In the 1932–3 season he came out of retirement to play for Cork Bohemians. He later became coach of Bohemians.
After the 1921 split in the Irish Football Association, which led to the establishment of the Football Association of Ireland in the Irish Free State, Lacey played for both Northern Ireland and the Irish Free State, winning three international caps for the FAI against Italy and Belgium (1927, 1928, 1930), scoring one goal against Belgium. He also played on three teams representing the Irish Free State league in games against the Welsh league in 1927 and 1930. A versatile player who could play in most outfield positions, he played mostly at half-back and left wing, which was considered his best position. Towards the end of his career he played at full back. In addition to soccer, he played cricket, and was a member of the Railway Union senior team from 1919 to 1923, and also played for Monkstown in 1938. He died in 1969.