Glasgow born wing half Charlie Thomson began his football career with junior club Pollok in 1930 from where he was signed by First Division Sunderland, making his Football League debut in a 2-2 draw against Blackburn Rovers at Roker Park on 3rd October 1931, one of only two appearances he made during his debut season. He broke into the Sunderland team from October 1932 and was an ever present for two successive seasons in 1934-35 and 1935-36 as Sunderland first finished runners-up in the League Championship and then won the title in 1936. He also played in their 2-1 Charity Shield victory over Arsenal at Roker Park that October.
In 1937 he was a member of Sunderland’s FA Cup winning team, beating Preston North End 3-1 at Wembley. He was then awarded his first and only international cap for Scotland against Czechoslovakia in a 3-1 at Stadion Sparta-Letna, Prague on 15th May 1937. He was also a part of the Sunderland team that lost the 1938 FA Cup semi final by 3 goals to 1 to Huddersfield Town at Ewood Park, Blackburn. By the time the Second World War arrived, which forced his retirement, he had scored 8 goals in 263 appearances for The Wearsiders.