Newmains, Lanarkshire born inside forward Andy Wilson really was one of the biggest 2 or 3 star names in football in the early-mid 1920’s. Middlesbrough signed him from Cambuslang Rangers in 1914 and he made his Football League debut in January 1915 at West Bromwich Albion, playing only 8 games, scoring 5 goals including a brace on his home debut against Everton, before hostilities intervened and peacetime football was suspended. He returned to Scotland in between his First World War service in the trenches (he later wore a glove to mask his hand which had been shattered by a bullet to hide the disfiguration), playing for Hamilton Academical in 1916, Hearts, where he scored 32 goals in 33 appearances between January 1918 and May 1919, and for Dunfermline, but when Dunfermline joined the Scottish Football League in 1921, Wilson returned to Middlesbrough who still held his registration from before the War. In his first season back at ‘Boro he scored 32 League goals in 35 games including hat-tricks against West Bromwich Albion in a 3-2 victory in September 1921 and in a 4-1 win over Manchester City in February 1922.
He stayed at ‘Boro until he signed for Chelsea for £6,500 in November 1923, scoring 57 goals in 89 games for Middlesbrough either side of World War One, ending 1923-24 as both Middlesbrough’s and Chelsea’s top scorer, although amazingly both clubs were relegated at the end of the season!! At Chelsea he was very much their star player and scored 10 goals as they regained their place in the top flight in 1929-30, finishing as Second Division runners up. In total he played 253 games for Chelsea from December 1923 to September 1931, scoring 62 goals. He signed for Queens Park Rangers in October 1931 where he finished his career playing 23 times in 1931-32, scoring 3 times for Rangers.
He scored a remarkable 13 goals in only 12 matches playing for Scotland between 1920 and 1923. His full international debut was in a 1-1 draw against Wales at Ninian Park in February 1920 while with Dunfermline Athletic, and was one of only two matches where he didn’t find the net. His winner, the only goal of the game, against England at Villa Park in April 1922 sealed Scotland’s first victory in England for 19 years. He netted the equaliser on his final appearance in a 2-2 draw against England at Hampden Park in April 1923. He also scored 4 goals in 2 Wartime/Victory internationals in 1919.
He later managed Walsall between October 1934 and April 1937, and his son, Jimmy Wilson, played for Watford in the 1950’s.
NB in the photograph Wilson stands in the centre with Middlesbrough team mates (l-r) Jackie Carr, Billy Birrell, George Carr and Tommy Urwin.