Garforth, Leeds born goalkeeper Jimmy Wilson began his football career with Rothwell Amateurs where he came to the attention of hometown First Division club Leeds United, signing for them in March 1928. Understudy to the consistent Jimmy Potts, he made his Football League debut at Bury on New Year’s Day 1929 but his brief chance at Leeds was effectively ended when he was on the receiving end of an 8-2 thrashing at West Ham United in February in his fourth appearance.
Wilson moved to Halifax Town in March 1930, where he made 8 appearances for The Shaymen during the season run in as they struggled at the foot of the Third Division (North). He then joined Birmingham & District League club Shrewsbury Town in August 1930 before moving to Midland League club Shirebrook during the 1930-31 season. He returned to Football League action with newly elected Third Division (North) club Mansfield Town in July 1931 and kept goal in their inaugural League fixture against Swindon Town the following month, but after 30 appearances in their first League season he lost his place to Jack Clough at the start of the next season.
Wilson returned to fill the gap between Mansfield’s sticks for 13 matches from November 1932 to January 1933 before leaving Field Mill for Sutton Town in the 1933 close season, but he again returned to League action later in 1933 with Bradford Park Avenue, for whom he deputised for incumbent Willie Hawthorn in a Second Division match against Blackpool immediately before Christmas 1933, his only first team outing for Bradford before joining Bristol City in July 1934.
Initially understudy to Bill Dolman, he played only once in 1934-35 before taking over the gloves from Dolman in January 1936, and he was a virtual ever present for Bristol City in 1936-37, missing only one match, before losing his place to Ted Dawson in September 1937, playing for The Robins just once more the following March. Having made 71 appearances for Bristol City. he joined City rivals Bristol Rovers in July 1938 but failed to make their first eleven and the outbreak of the Second World War then precipitated his retirement from professional football.
NB the photograph was taken before the FA Cup tie between Walsall and Mansfield Town at Fellows Park on 26th November 1932. Walsall won the match 4-1. In front of Wilson is Mansfield captain Ernie England.