Bury, Lancashire born inside forward Wilf Chadwick joined his hometown club Bury after the First World War spending 1919-20 at Gigg Lane without making a first team appearance. He played for both Nelson and Accrington Stanley in 1920 before joining Rossendale United in 1921, from where he signed for Everton for £350 early in 1922 making his Football League debut at Goodison Park against Bradford City in March 1922, scoring both goals in a 2-0 victory. The Monday’s Liverpool ECHO carried the headline: “Chadwick’s Usual” with the following words: “Two goals, one with head and one with foot, helped Everton’s cause and added to Bradford’s discomforture. Chadwick was the scorer in each instance. Thus the ex-Rossendale player’s record of two goals per match is unimpaired.” The report added later: “Everton have found another good centre forward in Chadwick, who can justly be called an opportunist, but he does not finish at that, for his passes to the wings were always accurate and well conceived, while he placed himself well when there was a likelihood of a centre coming his way.” Opinions were divided on Chadwick’s contribution, though. The ECHO’s sister paper, The Daily Post, wasn’t quite so complimentary “Chadwick showed promise in the centre position though he is distinctly on the slow side,” wrote their correspondent. “He scored twice but otherwise did little of note.” That seemed an overly harsh assessment of a player who scored again the following week to finish his first season in senior football with three goals in four appearances.
After 13 goals in 1922-23, he was an ever present and scored a sensational 30 goals in 1923-24 including 4 goals against Manchester City in a 6-1 win in December 1923 and a hat-trick in a 4-2 win against Tottenham Hotspur in April 1924, finishing as Everton’s leading scorer for the second season in a row and as the First Division’s top goalscorer. In 1924-25, despite pre-season preparations which included games in Barcelona (one won 2-1, one lost 2-1), Everton slumped to the bottom of table and narrowly escaped relegation. Chadwick was injured for much of the second half of the campaign and scored only six goals. It was a dramatic fall from grace after his previous season’s achievements, and 1925-26 was even worse. Chadwick played alongside a young, emerging centre forward called Dixie Dean just once at the end of 1924-25. Dean scored, Chadwick didn’t, and he made just two more appearances the following campaign. Dean scored four in those two games and the writing was on the wall. He then lost form and his first team place, and by the time he joined Leeds United in November 1925 he had scored 55 goals in 109 appearances for The Toffees.
At Elland Road he failed to recapture the scoring touch he had shown at Everton, scoring only 3 times in 16 appearances before joining Wolverhampton Wanderers in September 1926, where he scored on his debut in a home defeat to Middlesbrough and got 12 goals in the season including a hat-trick in a 9-1 thrashing of Barnsley at Molineux on 6th November 1926. He then top scored for Wolves with 19 goals in 1927-28, adding 13 more goals in 1928-29, and in three seasons scored 44 times in 101 appearances. He joined Stoke City in May 1929 for £250 but played only 8 times for The Potters, scoring twice, joining Halifax Town for £100 in October 1930 for whom he played half a dozen matches before retirement in May 1932.