Ernie Tuckett: Arsenal and Margate, and a tragic early death.

By Tony Attwood


Ernest William Tuckett to some degree is one of Arsenal’s mystery men although I have just about patched together most of the information that there is available in public records.

He was born on 1 January 1914 in Lingdale according to Hayes, or 1 March 1914 according to Smith and Russell and the 11 v 11 website.  There is a suggestion made elsewhere that he was born near Wallasey, but that seems a minority view.

Lingdale is a village in North Yorkshire, England.   The village was created through the start of ironstone mining in the area, in the early 19th century.  It is near Guisborough, and credence is given to this origin by the fact that he started out with Scarborough, and was considered to show great promise in his early years as a footballer, and joined Arsenal on 27 June 1932 as an amateur at the age of 18.

Ernie first came to notice as an Arsenal man with six goals in a London Midweek League match in 1933 and then moved on to the nursery club Margate between 1934 and 1936 become a professional for Arsenal in 1936.

The now defunct Margate History website had him playing over 70 games for Margate in his time there.

He made his debut on 28 March 1936 away to Wolverhampton and played his second and final match on May 2, the last day of the season.  Both games were 2-2 draws with Ernie playing at centre half (number 5) in both games.

Arsenal finished sixth that year and their prime interest was in the FA Cup, which the club won, so these league matches towards the end of the season were clearly times when Allison was experimenting with his team and selecting a side for the future.

Ernie was however not to be part of that future and on 12 February 1937 he moved to Bradford City, in a move which saw Arsenal acquire Laurie Scott.

There is also a report that Ernie moved on to Fulham, and in that case it would seem that he moved back to his native Yorkshire when the war broke out.  He certainly featured for Bradford during wartime football until his death on active service in an airfield accident whilst serving in the RAF on 27 May 1945.   He was just 31 at the time.

I am sorry I have no more, and what I have found is at time contradictory.  As always, if you do know more, please do get in touch.

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9 Replies to “Ernie Tuckett: Arsenal and Margate, and a tragic early death.”

  1. Surely the point is that Tony likes to give and find information on anyone who has been connected to Arsenal in any capacity, either as a player or in any other role. It certainly interests me and if they actually played, even if only twice for the first team in Ernie Tuckett’s case, they have achieved something special. He won a London Combination championship medal with the reserves and the fact he lost his life so late in the war was tragic and deserves our respect.

  2. Patrick, like Nigel, I don’t see the problem.

    The aim of this site is ultimately to provide a complete history of Arsenal and its players. So part of that is to cover each and every player who has played a league match with the club.

    There is very little about Ernie Tuckett in publication, and to put together my little article I had to do quite a bit of seeking out of information from obscure sources. Sorry this one didn’t interest you, but I find it an interesting hobby, and I know that there are not only a lot of readers on this site who value this type of article (and we get about 30,000 page views a month) but others who write and ask if I would try and find anything I can out about a particular ex-player.

  3. Les Horsman who played for Bradford Park Avenue after World War 11, guested for Arsenal during the War.
    Have you any information or reports on the games he played in, or the circumstances leading to him playing for Arsenal during his army days?
    I found your site interesting and useful. I am a Bradford City supporter and write for the fanzine, City Gent, and the online journal, Bradford Sport History.
    Many thanks.

  4. Dave, thanks for your comments. I regret we don’t have details on the wartime games, although I know one of my colleagues is trying to pull together a complete Arsenal fixture list with team details. But for the moment, no. Sorry.

  5. Dave Welbourne

    Lee Horsman played as a guest for Arsenal early in 1944-45 season in five games scoring three goals.


    The Football League, South.

    (1) 26/8/44 Beat Luton Town 2-1 away. Team: Duke HP; Scott L ,Barnes W; Hamilton W, B.Joy, Collett E; Briscoe J, Henley L, Horsman L, Bastin CS, Smith C.
    Scorers: Horsman, Briscoe. Attendance: 7,500

    (2) 2/9/44 Lost to Tottenham Hotspur 0-4 away. Team: Swindin GH; Jones A, Ferrier H; Collett E, Bradley G, Hamilton W; Briscoe J, Henley L,Horsman L, Bastin CS, Nelson D.
    Attendance; 13,624

    (3) 9/9/44 Beat Aldershot 1-0 home. Team; Swindin GH, Male CG, Hamilton W; Bradley G, Collett E, Henley L; Farquhar D, Nelson D, Horsman L, Bastin CL, Cumner RH.
    Scorer: Horsman. Attendance: 11,760
    (4) Did not play.

    (5) 23/9/44 Beat Queens Park Rangers 2-0 home. Team; Swindin GH; Male GC, Barnes W; Bradley G, B Joy, Collett E; Farquhar D, Horsman L, Drake EJ, Bastin CS, Wrigglesworth W.
    Scorers; Drake, Wrigglesworth. Attendance 15,336

    (6) 30/9/44 Beat Millwall 4-1 away. Team; Duke HP; Scott L, Hamilton W; Bradley G, Male CG, Collett E; Farquhar D, Mortensen SH, Horsman L, Bastin CS, Wrigglesworth W.
    Scorers: Mortensen (2), Bastin, Horsman. Attendance 12,403

    Of these players as well as Lee Horseman (Bradford City) other guests were Bradley (Newcastle),Briscoe (Hearts),Duke (Luton),Hamilton (St Bernards) Stanley Mortensen (Blackpool) and Wrigglesworth (Man Utd). NB: All Arsenal home games were played at White Hart Lane.

    All from ‘ARSENAL’ A complete record 1886-1990 by Fred Ollier published by Breedon Books Sport.

    Hope this helps.

  6. Correction: Lee Horsman of course as you said played fot Bradford Park Avenue, NOT City. Apologies.

  7. Ernie Tuckett Was my mothers first husband and was from north yorkshire.I always believed that he died due to tubercolosis as did his late father who died at the age of 28.

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