Born in Plumstead, London, forward Charlie Lewis played for East Wickham in 1904, Eltham in 1905 and then Maidstone United in 1906, before signing for First Division Woolwich Arsenal in May 1907. A versatile forward, he was used by Arsenal in every attacking position, mainly either at inside right or as a winger on both sides. Although he only made his Football League debut midway through his first season, against Sunderland on 28th December 1907, he finished the 1907-08 season as the club’s second-top goalscorer, with eight, one behind Peter Kyle, having marked his debut with two goals in a 4-0 victory.
For the next two seasons Lewis featured regularly, playing the majority of Arsenal’s matches. However, at the time the club were struggling in the First Division, skirting relegation in 1909-10 (finishing 18th out of 20), before financial problems forced the club to sell its best players. Arsenal finished bottom of the First Division in 1912-13 having only scored 18 League goals; Lewis was Arsenal’s top scorer that season, albeit with only four goals.
By now, Lewis mainly played as a supporting striker; this combined with Arsenal’s poor attacking form meant he scored relatively few goals for the club. He faithfully stayed with the club (which in the meantime had moved to Highbury and renamed themselves “Arsenal”), as they battled for promotion from the Second Division. The arrival of the First World War robbed Lewis of the peak of his career, although he played in some wartime matches for The Gunners. By the time peacetime football had resumed and Arsenal had returned to the First Division in 1919, he was 33. He played in five League matches in 1919-20 before dropping down to the reserves. Having played 220 times for the club, scoring 34 goals, Lewis left Arsenal in 1921 and played for non league Margate before retiring.