Turton, near Bolton, Lancashire born goalkeeper Matt Kingsley started his football career with junior clubs Edgworth in 1893 and Turton in 1894, before joining Second Division Darwen in May 1895. He made his Football League debut at Leicester Fosse in October the same year, and made 74 appearances over his three seasons at Barley Bank, being near ever present in 1896-97 and 1897-98. In April 1898 he was signed by Newcastle United and over the next six seasons Kingsley made 189 appearances, which included an infamous FA Cup exit at Southampton in 1900. In four of his six seasons Newcastle finished between third and sixth in the League Championship, a preface to the dominance of English football they were about to demonstrate in the latter part of the decade.
In 1901 he became the first Newcastle United player to receive a call-up to the England team. Kingsley played in a 6-0 victory for England against Wales in a British Home Championship match at St James’ Park on 18th March 1901. He also played 3 times for The Football League.
Having been an ever present in his first two seasons at St James’ Park, and near ever present thereafter, Kingsley lost his place to Jimmy Lawrence midway through the 1903-04 season and moved on to Southern League West Ham United in the 1904 close season, making his debut against Millwall at Upton Park on 1st September 1904.
However he departed Upton Park after being sent off for kicking former West Ham player Herbert Lyon in a game against Brighton & Hove Albion in March 1905, causing a crowd invasion and a near riot, having made 30 appearances for The Irons. The Stratford Express reported: “No sooner had the referee pointed to the centre than the West Ham keeper ran at Lyon and kicked him to the ground, and matters looked ugly for the international keeper, who was ordered off the ground by the referee, but the Brighton officials, with a posse of police, acted very promptly and escorted him from the playing arena before any violence was used.”
He joined Queen’s Park Rangers that summer, having a single season at Loftus Road and making 20 appearances before joining Lancashire Combination club Barrow in September 1906. In October 1907 he joined Rochdale, but returned to Barrow in 1908 before his eventual retirement.
NB This photograph is grafted from the 1902-03 Newcastle United team photograph, please see the linked image.