Norton-in-the-Moors, Staffordshire born right back Ralph Goodwin began his football career with Potteries side Tunstall Park from where he joined Second Division club Glossop in August 1906, making his Football League debut against Chesterfield Town the same October. He made 15 appearances for The Hillmen during a single season at North Road, but he joined Lancashire Combination club Stalybridge Rovers in the 1907 close season. When Rovers folded after failing to fulfil a fixture in 1908, Goodwin returned to Football League action joining Stockport County in April 1908, his debut for The Hatters coming at Leeds City that month.
Goodwin remained on the fringes at Edgeley Park, making just a pair of first team appearances in 1908-09, until he broke into the team on a regular basis in February 1910, after which he only missed a handful of matches each season in the five remaining seasons before the onset of the First World War forced the suspension of peacetime football in May 1915. Indeed in the final season he missed only one match, and had made 187 appearances for The Hatters by the time that War caused a halt to his career.
During the War he played wartime league football for Stockport and was a near ever present in their wartime fixtures for four seasons, making a further 136 appearances for County, before joining Preston North End later in 1918-19, and after its conclusion he signed for Preston ahead of the first peacetime season, and made the only top flight appearances of his career for The Lambs in September and December of 1919, in all playing 7 matches for them. He returned to Stockport County in September 1920 and made a final appearance in a heavy defeat at Port Vale in December 1920 before his eventual retirement.
NB the photograph was taken before Stockport County’s match with Birmingham at St Andrews on 3rd September 1913, a match which Birmingham won 3-2.