Ironville, Derbyshire born inside forward Walter Tinsley started his football career with Alfreton Town in 1910 and played for Sutton Town in 1911 before signing for First Division Sunderland early in 1912, making his Football League debut against Arsenal in March. The following season he scored three important goals, the third getting a point at Aston Villa in the run in, in 7 appearances as Sunderland won the League Championship. However he couldn’t force his way into the Sunderland starting eleven, and after only 10 appearances he joined Middlesbrough in December 1913. His first season was a great success, as the club’s second top scorer behind George Elliott with 19 goals including hat-tricks against Aston Villa and Liverpool as Middlesbrough finished 3rd in the League. The following season he went one better, topping Elliott with 26 goals with hat-tricks against Goole Town, Tottenham, Liverpool and Oldham Athletic before the suspension of peacetime football due to the interruption of World War One’s outbreak.
He returned to Ayresome Park after the War and played two more seasons for ‘Boro, but after scoring 49 goals in 89 appearances he moved to Nottingham Forest in the summer of 1921, where he helped Forest to the Second Division Championship in his first season at The City Ground. After 13 goals in 64 appearances over 2 more seasons during which Forest barely avoided relegation finishing 20th both seasons, he joined Third Division (South) Reading in the close season of 1924 and in his second season at Elm Park he scored 6 times as Reading won the Third Division (South) Championship and promotion to the Second Division. He played one final season, making only one Second Division appearance, before retiring after 13 goals in 58 games for The Royals.