Andrew Wilson (footballer, born 1896)

Andrew Nesbit Wilson (14 February 1896 – 15 October 1973) was a Scottish footballer who played for Middlesbrough, Heart of Midlothian, Dunfermline Athletic, Chelsea, Queens Park Rangers, Sporting Club Nîmois and the Scotland national team.

Andy Wilson
Personal information
Full name Andrew Nesbit Wilson[1]
Date of birth (1896-02-14)14 February 1896
Place of birth Newmains, Lanarkshire, Scotland
Date of death 15 October 1973(1973-10-15) (aged 77)[1]
Place of death Putney, London, England
Height 5 ft 8+12 in (1.74 m)[2]
Position(s) Centre forward
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
Cambuslang Rangers
1914–1919 Middlesbrough 9 (5)
1917–1918Hamilton Academical (guest) 4 (5)
1918Leeds City (guest)
1918–1919Heart of Midlothian (guest) 33 (32)
1919–1921 Dunfermline Athletic
1921–1923 Middlesbrough 77 (51)
1923–1931 Chelsea 238 (59)
1931–1932 Queens Park Rangers 20 (3)
1932–1934 Sporting Club Nîmois
National team
1919 Scotland (wartime) 2 (4)
1920–1923 Scotland 12 (13)
Teams managed
1934–1937 Walsall
1946–1947 Gravesend & Northfleet
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Playing career

Middlesbrough and military service

Wilson was born in Newmains, Lanarkshire. He joined Middlesbrough from junior side Cambuslang Rangers in 1914.

His early career was interrupted by the First World War during which his left hand and forearm were shattered by enemy fire at Arras. He wore a glove to mask the withered hand and forearm for the rest of his life.[3][4]

Heart of Midlothian and Leeds City

He debuted for Heart of Midlothian in January 1918, playing for them until the end of the following season. The Scottish League championship continued to be played during the conflict, and he scored 32 times in 33 official appearances.[5] He also played a handful of league matches for Hamilton Academical.[1]

He guested a couple of times for Leeds City in April 1918, scoring twice on his Peacocks debut at Bradford Park Avenue on 6 April.[6]

Dunfermline Athletic and return to Middlesbrough

In 1919 he joined Dunfermline Athletic when they were part of the rebel Central League, a body outside Scottish Football League jurisdiction. When this league was absorbed by the SFL in 1921, those players previously contracted to a Scottish or English league side were obliged to return to whichever side held their registration as part of the agreement.

Thus Wilson returned to Middlesbrough in time for the 1921–22 season. He ended that season as not just 'Boro's top scorer but also the League's, with 31 strikes.[7]


In November 1923 Wilson joined David Calderhead's sizeable contingent of Scots at Chelsea mid-season for £6,500.[8] He was replaced at Middlesbrough the following month with Ian Dickson from Aston Villa for £3,000.[9] Wilson ended the 1923–24 season as both Middlesbrough and Chelsea's top scorer; both clubs were relegated from the top flight that season.

He made 253 appearances for Chelsea and scored 52 goals in the next eight years.[10] In that time he lined up beside compatriots such as Willie Ferguson, Tommy Law, Hughie Gallacher, Alex Jackson and Alec Cheyne.

Queens Park Rangers, Nimes

He joined Queens Park Rangers in 1931, scoring three times in 20 league games, then spent a two-season sojourn in France with Sporting Club Nîmes.


When at Dunfermline and Middlesbrough, Wilson was capped 12 times by Scotland between 1920 and 1923; he averaged more than a goal per game with 13 goals. He scored another four in two unofficial wartime internationals.[11]

Ten of his Scotland goals, across nine matches, helped the nation to win the British Home Championship three times in a row between 1920–21 and 1922–23.

Management and coaching

In 1934 he became Walsall manager. He then accepted a series of coaching positions, including at Chelsea and Gravesend and Northfleet, where he was the club's first manager following their formation in 1946.[4] He spent the 1946–47 season at Gravesend before departing.

Personal life

Wilson was a keen lawn bowler and reached the final of the 1945 National Championship triples.[12]

His younger son, Jimmy, survived a tour as a tail-gunner in the far east during World War II.[4] Jimmy played for Watford after the war.[13]

International goals

Scores and results list Scotland's goal tally first.
113 March 1920Celtic Park, Glasgow Ireland1–03–0BHC
210 April 1920Hillsborough Stadium, Sheffield England2–24–5BHC
312 February 1921Pittodrie Park, Aberdeen Wales1–02–1BHC
412 February 1921Pittodrie Park, Aberdeen Wales2–12–1BHC
526 February 1921Windsor Park, Belfast Ireland1–02–0BHC
69 April 1921Hampden Park, Glasgow England1–03–0BHC
74 March 1922Celtic Park, Glasgow Ireland1–12–1BHC
84 March 1922Celtic Park, Glasgow Ireland2–12–1BHC
98 April 1922Villa Park, Birmingham England1–01–0BHC
103 March 1923Windsor Park, Belfast Ireland1–01–0BHC
1117 March 1923Love Street, Paisley Wales1–02–0BHC
1217 March 1923Love Street, Paisley Wales2–02–0BHC
1314 April 1923Hampden Park, Glasgow England2–22–2BHC

See also


  1. "Wilson, Andrew (1917)". Hamilton Academical Memory Bank. Retrieved 24 February 2011.
  2. Vulcan (21 August 1922). "Few big transfers in the First Division of the Football League. Middlesbrough". Athletic News. Manchester. p. 5.
  3. "QosFC: Legends – Dave Halliday". Retrieved 31 December 2020.
  4. "Survivors: Charlie Buchan, Andy Wilson". Ebbsfleet United Football Club | Official Website of the Fleet. Retrieved 31 December 2020.
  5. "Andy Wilson – Hearts Career – from 12 Jan 1918 to 17 May 1919". Retrieved 31 December 2020.
  6. "Players – Andy Wilson 1918". The Mighty Mighty Whites. Retrieved 31 December 2020.
  7. "English League Leading Goalscorers". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 30 August 2018.
  8. "Andy Wilson". Chelsea Football Club. Retrieved 22 January 2018.
  9. "QosFC: Legends – Ian Dickson". Retrieved 31 December 2020.
  10. "Andy Wilson Player Profile". Retrieved 31 December 2020.
  11. "Andy Wilson – Scotland Football Record from 22 Mar 1919 to 14 Apr 1923 clubs – Heart of Midlothian Dunfermline Athletic Middlesbrough". Retrieved 31 December 2020.
  12. "Triple Bowls title won by Penzance". Daily Herald. 29 August 1945. p. 4 via British Newspaper Archive.
  13. Hugman, Barry (1981). Football League Players Records (1946–1981). Aylesbury: Rothmans Publications. p. 358. ISBN 0-907574-08-4.
  • Cheshire, Scott (1998). Chelsea: An Illustrated History. Breedon Books. ISBN 1-85983-143-5.