William Martin "Billy" Banks (11 January 1925 – August 1991) birth registered in Bridgend, was a Welsh rugby union and professional Rugby League World Cup winning footballer who played in the 1940s, and 1950s, playing club level rugby union (RU) for Maesteg RFC, as a Scrum-half, i.e. number 9, and playing representative level rugby league (RL) for Great Britain, Wales, Other Nationalities, British Empire, and Combined Nationalities, and at club level for Leeds, Wakefield Trinity (Heritage № 558), Huddersfield, Whitehaven, and Salford, as a stand-off/five-eighth, or scrum-half/halfback, i.e. number 6, or 7.
Banks made his début for Leeds against Keighley at Headingley Rugby Stadium, Leeds on Saturday 23 February 1946. He moved to Wakefield Trinity later that year for £500, (based on increases in average earnings, this would be approximately £49,450 in 2016). he made his début for Wakefield Trinity during December 1946, and in August 1948, he was transferred to Huddersfield for £1,850. (based on increases in average earnings, this would be approximately £161,500 in 2016). Banks played 281 games for Huddersfield between 1948 and 1956. He went on to play for Whitehaven and Salford before retiring in 1960, he appears to have scored no drop-goals (or field-goals as they are currently known in Australasia), but prior to the 1974–75 season all goals, whether; conversions, penalties, or drop-goals, scored 2-points, consequently prior to this date drop-goals were often not explicitly documented, therefore '0' drop-goals may indicate drop-goals not recorded, rather than no drop-goals scored. In addition, prior to the 1949–50 season, the archaic field-goal was also still a valid means of scoring points.
Billy Banks played scrum-half/halfback in Huddersfield's 2-20 defeat by Wigan in the Championship Final during the 1949–50 at Maine Road, Manchester on Saturday 13 May 1950.
Billy Banks played scrum-half/halfback and scored a try in Huddersfield's 15-10 victory over St. Helens in the 1953 Challenge Cup Final during the 1952–53 season at Wembley Stadium, London on Saturday 25 April 1953, in front of a crowd of 89,588.
Billy Banks played scrum-half/halfback in Huddersfield's 4-11 defeat by Bradford Northern in the 1949 Yorkshire County Cup Final during the 1949–50 season at Headingley Rugby Stadium, Leeds on Saturday 29 October 1949, and played scrum-half/halfback in the 18-8 victory over Batley in the 1952 Yorkshire County Cup Final during the 1952–53 season at Headingley Rugby Stadium, Leeds on Saturday 15 November 1952.
Billy Banks represented Combined Nationalities and scored a try in the 15-19 defeat by France at Stade de Gerland, Lyon on Sunday 3 January 1954, won 17 caps for Wales (RL) between 1949–1953 while at Huddersfield and represented Great Britain (RL) while at Huddersfield in 1953 against France and in 1954 against France (2 non-Test matches).
Billy Banks was selected for Great Britain Squad while at Huddersfield for the 1954 Rugby League World Cup in France. However, Billy Banks did not participate in any of the four matches, with Gerry Helme playing as Scrum-half/Halfback in all four matches.
Along with Edward "Ted" Cahill, Gordon Haynes, Keith Holliday, William "Billy" Ivison, Robert "Bob" Kelly, John McKeown, George Parsons, and Edward "Ted" Slevin, Billy Banks' only Great Britain appearances came against France prior to 1957, these matches were not considered as Test matches by the Rugby Football League, and consequently caps were not awarded.
Billy was married to Sadie A. (née Williams), daughter of Annie (née Davies) and Gomer Williams of MacGregor Row, Maesteg. Gomer was a coal miner and then groundsman at Maesteg RFC for many years. Billy became a taxi driver in Huddersfield. He returned regularly to Maesteg to visit family and friends.