Ernest Williamson (generally known as Tim) was born 24 May 1890 in County Durham Durham.
Tim Williamson began his career at local sides such as Murton Red Star, and Wingate Albion before joining Croydon Common of the Southern League in 1913. During the first world war he was in the Royal Army Service Corps and played for Arsenal and other teams as a guest.
At the end of the war, as football resumed, Tim Williamson found his footballing world changed. First Croydon Common were the only Southern League team not to reform and start playing again. Second Arsenal were elected to the First Division, and Williamson signed for the club.
He was a goalkeeper and his career is revealed through the appearance table below:
But in 1923 he lost his Arsenal place, playing only the first five games of the 1922/23 season. The results tell the story at least in part:
It is true that Arsenal then won their next two games 2-1, so in that sense the “lost his place because of results” story stands up, but the era of big defeats hadn’t been left totally behind because on October 14 Arsenal lost 0-7 to West Brom. There was a 0-4 defeat on December 23 to Huddersfield and 1-4 on December 25 to Bolton. Finally on January 17 there was a 1-4 defeat to Liverpool in a FA Cup first round replay.
Williamson however did not make a come back despite these changes, and in fact Arsenal got through two other keepers in the season, Dunn who played the next 17 games after Williamson was “dropped”, and Jock Robson who played the last 20 games of the season.
The notion that Williamson was dropped because of the results might therefore be true, but it is interesting that despite being dropped he became Arsenal’s first post-First World War international, playing in both of England’s matches away to Sweden on 21 May and 24 May 1923.
In all Tim Williamson played 113 official first-class games for Arsenal. He then moved to the Third Division South to play for Norwich for two seasons, before retiring from football in 1925. Thereafter we lose sight of him – if you know any more please do write in.
He died on 30 April 1964 aged 73.
- Woolwich Arsenal: The club that changed football – Arsenal’s early years
- Making the Arsenal – how the modern Arsenal was born in 1910
- The Crowd at Woolwich Arsenal – crowd behaviour at the early matches
- Coming soon: Royal Arsenal