Watford born full back Ernie Grimsdell had been an amateur at his hometown club Watford in 1909, and played for the Hertfordshire FA. He made 98 appearances for St Albans City, scoring 24 goals, between September 1910 and April 1914, and first played in the Southern League representing Reading (as an amateur) in February 1913 making a single appearance for The Royals. In June 1914 he won two England Amateur caps on their tour of Scandinavia, playing in successive games against Sweden in Stockholm on 10th and 12th June, which finished 5-1 and 5-0 to England respectively.
He returned to Watford in the summer of 1913, still an amateur, and made his Watford debut in October 1913 in the Southern League at Cardiff City, and played 10 times over the next 2 seasons for Watford until the suspension of peacetime football, and a further 5 appearances in the 1919-20 season immediately after the Great War.
During the First World War he continued to represent Watford and also played for The Army against The Royal Navy, and also spent 2 years playing as a guest for Fulham. After the War he turned professional in 1920 and joined Queens Park Rangers, and his Football League debut was for QPR ironically at Watford in September 1920. He had 2 spells at Loftus Road, spending 1921-22 at non league Guildford United in between, and in total made 23 appearances for Rangers, before joining non league Chatham in 1923.
He was the older brother of Tottenham Hotspur and England captain Arthur Grimsdell.