15 October 1900
7 June 1982 (aged 81)
Age at first & last AFL game
First game: 18y 200d
Last game: 27y 336d
Height and weight
Height: 170 cm
Weight: 73 kg
Collingwood: 19, 26, 25, 29, 27, 23, 24
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Ernie Wilson had played senior football for both Clifton Hill Imperials and South Yarra by the time he commenced with Collingwood as an 18-year-old in 1919. Flexible and highly skilled, he could play effectively in almost any position, but it was less for this than for the seemingly unbridled ferocity of his approach that he garnered attention.
At the end of his debut season, Wilson was one of the Magpies' best players at half forward right in the 11.12 (78) to 7.11 (53) Challenge Final win over Richmond. Some of his best football was played in defence where his fearless, straight ahead approach served him well. In 1924 he was a member of the VFL's victorious Hobart carnival team, and all told he was chosen to represent his state nine times.
Having played in Collingwood's losing Challenge Final teams in 1925 against Geelong and 1926 against Melbourne, Wilson crowned his career in style in the next year's premiership decider by producing a typically solid and steely performance across half back as the Magpies consigned Richmond to defeat by 12 points on a semi-submerged MCG. It was not quite his career swansong, though, as he carried on playing in 1928 to take his final tally of VFL games to 126. He kicked nine goals.
Author - John Devaney