Rotherham born winger Ernie Thompson started his football career with South Shields in 1911 and joined hometown club Rotherham County in 1912, joining Southern League Portsmouth in May 1913 and playing for them until the First World War. After the War he returned to Fratton Park and was part of Portsmouth’s 1919-20 Southern League Championship winning team, by when he had scored 2 goals in 87 appearances, and when they joined the Football League the following season he played in their inaugural League fixture against Swansea Town in August 1920 and scored once in a further 37 appearances during their inaugural League season before joining Second Division Sheffield Wednesday in May 1921.
After 24 appearances he joined Bradford Park Avenue in August 1922 and spent two seasons at Avenue scoring twice in 52 appearances before joining Grimsby Town in July 1924. However he made only 8 appearances for The Mariners before joining non league Castleford Town in 1925, joining Denaby United later the same year. He played out the remainder of his career at Scunthorpe & Lindsey United joining them in 1926 and thereafter retiring from the game.