Ernest Clarke Williamson, born 24 May

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:

Season League games Manager
1919/20 26 Knighton
1920/21 33 Knighton
1921/22 41 Knighton
1922/23 5 Knighton

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:

Date League games Results
August 26 Liverpool 2-5
August 28 Burnley 1-1
September 2 Liverpool 1-0
September 4 Burnley 1-4
September 9 Cardiff 1-4

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.

See also…

The books…

Other sites from the same team…

9 Replies to “Ernest Clarke Williamson, born 24 May”

  1. Hi

    Re my father E C Williamson) on your website. After leaving NCFC, father ran the Flower in Hand ph in Pitt St,Norwich from 22/7/24 to 4/10/27 and thereafter the Mitre ph on Earlham Rd Norwich, where I (the youngest of his four sons) was born in 1933.

    He retired in Oct 1958 and lived on Plumstead Rd Norwich until his death from pneumonia in the West Norwich Hospital. I have his only International cap against Sweden and a few of his minor medals. I believe in those days players had the choice of a medal or 5 guineas in cash. Times change



  2. Ernest Williamson was a great friend to the charity now called Blind Veterans UK and then known as St Dunstan’s, which had been set up to provide training, rehabilitation and lifelong support to soldiers, sailors and airmen who had lost their sight in the First World War. Tony, if you would like to get in touch with me about your father, I’d be very grateful to hear from you, and would be glad to tell you about what we have about him here. I can be contacted on 020 7616 7933 or

    Best wishes

    Rob Baker
    Information and Archives Officer
    Blind Veterans UK

  3. Tim Williamson was my Grand dad….I remember him and Grandma Williamson at The Mitre public house in Norwich. That was a very very long time ago, but happy memories.

    Lester Williamson

  4. Tony, do you have a contact address for my uncle Tony ? I have not seen him since 1977

  5. I am researching Ernest as part of my research into Murton service people. I am curious as to where you got that he served in the R.A.S.C. The information I have is that he joined the 17th Battalion (Football), Middlesex Regiment in 1914 and was invalided out in 1915. Thus he was awarded a Silver War Badge in 1917. With your information I am wondering if he rejoined at a later date.

  6. Emam I am sorry to say that I haven’t kept the sources of information – mostly I search websites, which of course can be unreliable. As I am sure you realise, this site covers a significant number of people and so the depth of analysis on each one is not that great.

  7. re eman. 15/11/16.

    My father did join the Middlesex Regt but due to a foot problem he transferred to RASC where he was a csm p.t instructor. He spent his WW1 service in southern England.

    Like you I was only aware of his Middlesex Regt connections until Mike Davage published a history of Norwich City FC some years ago

    Tony Williamson

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *