Shirebrook, Derbyshire born left back Ernie “Mac” England began his football career with Shirebrook Forresters in 1918 and joined Central Alliance club Shirebrook in the 1919 close season, from where he joined First Division Sunderland for £100 in December 1919, making his Football League debut at Manchester City the same month. He was a fixture of the Sunderland team throughout the 1920’s playing 11 seasons for the club and was an ever present as they finished runners up to Liverpool in the 1923 League Championship, also finishing third in three of the next four seasons. England missed one match in the last of those seasons, 1926-27, and two as they finished fourth in 1928-29, but he finally lost his regular place in the Sunderland first team in the new year of 1930. But for the likes of Sam Wadsworth of Huddersfield and Ernie Blenkinsop of Sheffield Wednesday he would surely have received England recognition, but it never came.
After 352 appearances for The Wearsiders in which he never scored, he joined West Ham United for £500 in October 1930, making his debut on 3rd January 1931 in a 5-5 thriller with Aston Villa, however after only 5 games he was transfer listed and joined Mansfield Town for £350 in August 1931. He played another four seasons for The Stags, being ever present in his first season at Field Mill, totalling 137 appearances and scoring 4 goals, all penalties, before moving to non league Sutton Town in the 1935 close season, just six short of the 500 career games landmark. He subsequently joined Frickley Colliery in 1936 where he became club captain, before his retirement and a move into coaching.
He returned to Mansfield Town as their assistant trainer in August 1936, joining Notts County in May 1937, remaining as their trainer until August 1944, when he finished with the professional game.
NB The photograph was taken on 25th August 1923 at the home match with West Ham United, which ended 0-0.