A strapping centre-half, Willie Young did not have a great time at White Hart Lane, but made things worse by de-camping for Highbury with former manager Terry Neill.
Attended Ross High School, Tranent where they only played rugby and Young was a talented hooker and trialled for the South of Scotland Schools team. He worked as an assistant in a laboratory while playing for Sefton Athletic in juvenile football and was offered a trial with Hearts, which he turned down. Had a trial match with Falkirk, but when the manager left, they did not follow up their interest and Coventry City were sniffing around the central defender. However, Aberdeen stepped in to sign him up in 1969.
Willie developed a reputation as a tough central defender with the Dons, who he went on to help them to two runners-up positions in the top flight in Scotland before captaining the team and he impressed when he played against Tottenham in the UEFA Cup in 1974. His availability came to the attention of Terry Neill, who brought him to White Hart Lane in September 1975.
Young was an Under-23 international for his country, but any hopes he had of making the senior national side evaporated with an incident in a bar in Copenhagen when he was on U23 duty and he was prevented from playing for his country again.
He found it difficult to adapt to the English game straight away, but became a useful performer, although his lack of pace and getting caught on the turn left him struggling in some situations. Had a good run of games in the side, but when Neill decamped to Highbury, he took Young with him. He made 170 league appearances for the Gunners, scoring 11 goals and the centre-half played in unsuccessful FA (1978 and 1980) and European Cup Winners Cup finals (1980)for them. He is best remembered for the cynical foul on Paul Allen in the 1980 FA Cup Final, when the then young West Ham United midfielder was through on goal. He was a member of the 1979 FA Cup winning team.
In December 1981 he moved to Nottingham Forest, where he made 59 league appearances netting five times. August 1983 saw a move to Norwich City, but injuries restricted the number of appearances he made to a paltry seven and the Canaries cancelled his contract.
A move to Brighton in December 1983 saw him secure another club, but he made only four appearances there, before playing out the same number of games for Darlington. He decided to hang up his boots in November 1984.
On leaving the game, Young ran an equestrian centre just outside Nottingham and the Bramcote Manor Hotel pub and restaurant in Nottingham, until it was demolished for a religious meeting place, before going into the kennelling business - running the Belvoir Kennels and Cattery at Bottesford in Leicestershire. Young sometimes appears on STV's ScotSport programme as a football pundit.