Tyne Dock, South Shields, County Durham born left back Percy Thirkell began his football career with North Eastern League club Darlington after the First World War and played for Jarrow in 1921, from where he was signed by First Division club Bolton Wanderers in the 1922 close season, making his Football League debut at Preston North End that August. However he lost his place in October after a run of 8 matches, and although he played in their FA Cup third round win over Leeds United in February 1923, this was his only involvement in The Trotters’ successful Cup run which saw them win the first Final at Wembley.
Thirkell made a total of 15 appearances for Bolton in 1922-23, spending 1923-24 in the reserves before joining Third Division (North) club Tranmere Rovers in the summer of 1924, and he was an ever present for Tranmere in both 1924-25 and 1925-26, and missed only a few games the following two seasons before losing his place in October 1929. He had another run in the team in the second half of the season but joined Cheshire League Congleton Town in the summer of 1930 after 184 appearances for Tranmere Rovers. He made 12 appearances for Congleton in 1930-31 and subsequently played for Whitchurch in 1931 before his eventual retirement.