Sunderland, County Durham born inside left Ernie Young began his football career with Sunderland Rovers, playing for Robert Thompson’s in 1913 and Horsley Hill in 1914 prior to the First World War, which then interrupted his career. After the War he was signed by newly elected Second Division club South Shields in June 1919, making his Football League debut at centre forward in their second fixture, a 1-0 win over Birmingham at Horsley Hill, but he had to wait till November to feature again when he scored a brace in a 5-2 win over Nottingham Forest. He scored 4 goals in 11 matches for South Shields but played less first team football than might have been the case had his reluctance to give up his job and sign as a full time professional not excluded him from lengthy away trips.
Young elected to sign for North Eastern League club Durham City in September 1920, when an injury near the start of the season “seriously handicapped” his club, but once restored to fitness he soon returned to goalscoring form. Durham City were elected to the newly formed Football League Third Division (North) in 1921, and Young scored their first League goal after ten minutes of the opening match of the season, away to Southport. By the end of the year, he had reached double figures himself as well as creating goals for team-mates. He finished the campaign with 13 goals from 30 matches, which made him the team’s second highest scorer behind Harry Cousins. He was appointed club captain for their second season, and was again second highest scorer but with only 5 goals from 23 matches behind Tommy Roe with 8 goals, as Durham City finished bottom of the division. He joined North Eastern League club Spennymoor United, his last recorded club before his eventual retirement.