Andrew Wilson's footballing career

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Carlucci
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Andrew Wilson's footballing career

Post by Carlucci » Tue Jan 23, 2007 10:42 am

Could you give some information about Andrew Wilson, the Scottish forward who played for Sheffield Wednesday early in the last century? How many goals did he score in his career ? Which clubs did he play for? When did he make his debut in the Football League & the last game he played there? Didn't he play in the Scottish League? Thanks. Cheers.

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Post by Scottish » Tue Jan 23, 2007 8:28 pm

Andrew Wilson of Sheffield Wednesday (not to be confused with Andrew Wilson of Dunfermline, Middlesbrough & Chelsea) was, according to Douglas Lamming’s ‘Who’s Who’ of Scottish internationalists, born in Irvine, Ayrshire on December 10th 1880 and started his career with local junior club Irvine Meadow in 1897-98. This was Meadow’s first season in the junior ranks, having previously been a juvenile club so it is possible Wilson played for them prior to 1897.

He turned professional with Clyde in 1899. The 1899-1900 campaign was a disaster for the ‘Bully Wee’ as they finished bottom of the First Division but Wilson – who had played in all 18 league games – had caught the eye of The Wednesday (now Sheffield Wednesday). The Owls had just won the Second Division championship and Wilson joined them for the 1900-01 season. He spent the next twenty seasons at Hillsborough, establishing himself as an all-time Wednesday great. Those twenty years comprised just sixteen full seasons (there was no official league football in England from 1915-1919 because of the First World War) and in eight of those seasons he was the club’s top scorer.

He was a member of the Wednesday side which won successive League championships in 1902-03 & 03-04. In 1906-07 he scored four times in the FA Cup, including two in the semi-final, as he notched up 21 goals in total. This was the highest seasonal total of his career and a figure he equalled in 1908-09. He also set up the winning goal in the 1907 FA Cup Final in which Wednesday beat Everton at the Crystal Palace in front of a crowd of 84,584.

He became club captain in 1907-08 and remained a regular in the side right up until the end of 1914-15. He played six times for Scotland between 1906-07 and 1913-14, including four appearances against England. Oddly enough he never played on the winning side with five of his international appearances coming in drawn games and the other a defeat. He didn’t score any goals either.

After the war he made just one further appearance for Wednesday in 1919-20, a season in which the South Yorkshire club were relegated. All told he had made 545 appearances in League and Cup, scoring 216 goals. Of these 199 were in the League.

There is a dispute as to whether he played in 501 or 502 league games as sources differ. Either way it is a club record which stands to this day. As is his all-time appearance and goals record. His league goals tally is another club record. If you discount that solitary appearance after WW1 this means his appearance and goals records have stood at Hillsborough for over 90 years. This is astonishing considering fewer games were played in those days and the three-man offside law was in operation.

Upon leaving Wednesday he embarked on a career in management. His first club as a boss was Bristol Rovers where he was in charge from March 1921 until May 1926. At first he kept them around the middle of the Third Division (South) but in his final season they finished just one point above the re-election places. A year after leaving Bristol he took over at Oldham Athletic, then in the Second Division. His best season with them was in 1929-30 when they finished third, missing out on promotion by one place and two points. His final managerial move saw him travel the short distance to Stockport County in 1932-33. They finished the season third in Division Three (North).

Part of a footballing dynasty, his brother David also played for Scotland as well as St Mirren, Hamilton, Bradford City, Oldham & Nelson. David later managed Exeter City though the two brothers never clashed as managers. Another brother, James, played for St Mirren and the Scottish League.

Andrew Wilson died on March 13th 1945, aged 64.

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