Player name in full: Samuel Frederick Tilson
To/from dates: 1928 - 1938
Number of appearances: 276
Goals scored: 132
Biography and City Career:
Tilson was born in Swinton, South Yorkshire on 19TH April 1904. Tilson began his football career at Barnsley Congregationals and subsequently went on to represent Barnsley, where he played alongside Eric Brook.
Tilson joined City in March 1928 when he and Eric Brook were transferred from Barnsley for a combined fee of £6,000 making their debut against Grimsby Town. In his first season Tilson helped City gain promotion to Division 1. In his first full season with the club he was the third highest scorer.
Tilson was the leading goal scorer in 1932/33 with 23 goals in all competitions, this being the season where he made the inside left position his own. The following season his two goals against Portsmouth secured victory in the 1934 FA Cup Final. During his time with City Tilson won the FA Cup, First Division and the Charity Shield. Injuries were a recurrent issue for Tilson during his time with City and he was eventually sold to Northampton Town in March 1938.
When introducing Tilson to King George VI before the 1934 FA Cup Final, Sam Cowan, the manager, remarked “This is Tilson your Majesty. He’s playing today with two broken legs” Tilson’s previous season had been blighted with injuries.
With Portsmouth leading one nil at half time, Tilson consoled goalkeeper Frank Swift: “Tha don’t need to worry. I’ll plonk in two in the next half”. Tilson duly scored in 75th and 78th minutes to secure a two one victory for City.
In 1977 11 streets on a new housing estate in the Moss Side district of Manchester were named after famous City players, Tilson being one of them.
Tilson played 412 times for Northampton after leaving City and ended his career at York City in 1946. Tilson represented England four times with his first international cap coming in May 1934 against Hungary, his last cap was against Northern Ireland in 1935. Unfortunately, his international career was short lived due to injuries.
Tilson returned to City after his playing career finished where he worked successfully as a coach, assistant manager, caretaker manager and chief scout until his retirement in 1967. Outside of football he worked for the Inland Revenue.
Fred Tilson died on 21st November 1972 aged 68.