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David Wilson
David Wilson Scotland.jpg
Personal information
Full name David Wilson
Date of birth 14 January 1884
Place of birth Irvine, Scotland
Date of death Unknown
Playing position Wing half
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1901–1903 St. Mirren 2 (1)
1903–1904 Hamilton Academical 5 (0)
1904–1907 Bradford City 12 (1)
1907–1921 Oldham Athletic 406 (18)
1921–1924 Nelson 95 (3)
Total 520 (23)
National team
1913 Scotland 1 (0)
Teams managed
1921–1925 Nelson
1928–1929 Exeter City
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

David Wilson (born 14 January 1884, deceased) was a Scottish professional footballer who played as a wing half. He started his career in the Scottish Football League and went on to play 475 matches in the Football League before retiring at the age of 40. He appeared in one international match for Scotland in 1913. After retiring, he became manager of Nelson and Exeter City.



Wilson was born on 14 January 1884 in Irvine, North Ayrshire. He was one of three brothers who played professional football; his brother Andrew was also a Scotland international, while James spent the majority of his career with St. Mirren. After his retirement from football management, he worked as a stockbroker.[1]

Playing career

Wilson's started playing football with junior side Irvine Meadow. His professional career started in 1901 when he signed for Scottish League Division One club St. Mirren. He failed to make an appearance in his first season, but played twice in 1902–03, scoring one goal.[2] He left in 1903 to join Division Two side Hamilton Academical, where he stayed for one season, playing five league games for the club.[2] In 1904, he moved to England to join Football League Second Division side Bradford City. He made 12 league appearances and scored one goal in two years with the team, but left at the end of the 1905–06 campaign.[3]

Wilson signed for Lancashire Combination outfit Oldham Athletic in the summer of 1906 and became a first-team regular almost at once, playing 38 matches and scoring two goals in his inaugural season. For the 1907–08 campaign, Oldham joined the Football League Second Division, and Wilson appeared in every league match between 1907 and 1911. He scored two goals in the 1909–10 season as Oldham achieved promotion to the Football League First Division. He continued to play regularly until the outbreak of the First World War, when competitive football in England was stopped at the end of the 1914–15 campaign.[3]

On 5 April 1913, Wilson made his international debut for Scotland in the 0–1 defeat to England at Stamford Bridge, in which he played alongside his brother Andrew.[4] After the end of the war, he kept his place in the Oldham side when the league recommenced, appearing in every match of the 1919–20 season. At the conclusion of the 1920–21 campaign, Wilson left Oldham Athletic, having played 368 league matches and scored 16 goals in a 15-year spell with the club.[3]

Wilson joined newly-promoted Football League Third Division North team Nelson in 1921. He was appointed player-manager and handed the role of taking charge of the team's inaugural season in the Football League.[5] He played 34 matches in his first season with Nelson and scored three goals, including one penalty kick, the first he had scored in his career. Wilson went on to play 30 league games in the following campaign, leading his team to promotion to the Second Division. He played a further 31 matches for Nelson before retiring from playing at the end of the 1923–24 season, at the age of 40.[3]

Management career

Wilson continued as manager of Nelson despite his retirement but left the club at the end of the 1924–25 season, despite the team having finished as runners-up in the Third Division North. He subsequently spent three years working as a stockbroker, before having a spell in charge of Exeter City in the Football League Third Division South between March 1928 and February 1929.[1] He was in charge of the team for 42 matches, with the side winning 11 matches, drawing 10 and losing 21.[6] The club struggled under Wilson's tenure and finished 21st out of 22 in the division the season he left.[7]


  1. ^ a b "David Wilson profile". Scottish Football Association. Retrieved 13 February 2010. 
  2. ^ a b Emms, Steve; Wells, Richard (2007). Scottish League Players Records 1890/91 to 1938/39. SoccerData. ISBN 978-1-8994686-6-9. 
  3. ^ a b c d Joyce, Michael (2004). Football League Players' Records 1888–1939. SoccerData. ISBN 978-1-8994686-7-6. 
  4. ^ "England 1–0 Scotland". Scottish Football Association. Retrieved 14 February 2010. 
  5. ^ Dykes, Garth (2009). Nelson FC in the Football League: A Complete Record 1921–31. SoccerData. ISBN 978-1-9058912-9-0. 
  6. ^ "Dave Wilson's managerial career". Soccerbase. Retrieved 15 February 2010. 
  7. ^ Rundle, Richard. "Exeter City history". Football Club History Database. Retrieved 14 February 2010. 


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