Tim Coleman

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Tim Coleman
Personal information
Full name John George Coleman [1]
Date of birth(1881-10-26)26 October 1881 [1]
Place of birth Kettering, England
Date of death 20 November 1940(1940-11-20) (aged 59) [2]
Place of death Kensington, England [2]
Position(s) Forward
Senior career*
0000–1901 Kettering Town
1901–1902 Northampton Town
1902–1908 Woolwich Arsenal 172 (79)
1908–1910 Everton 71 (30)
1910–1911 Sunderland 32 (20)
1911–1914 Fulham 94 (45)
1914–1915 Nottingham Forest 37 (14)
1920–1921 Tunbridge Wells Rangers 37 (39)
International career
1907 England 1 (0)
Managerial career
Maidstone United (reserves)
1925–1927 SC Enschede
1927– VV Oldenzaal
0000–1932 TSV NOAD
DHC Delft
*Club domestic league appearances and goals

John George Coleman MM (26 October 1881 – 20 November 1940) was an English footballer who played as a forward for Kettering Town, Northampton Town, Woolwich Arsenal, Everton, Sunderland, Fulham, Nottingham Forest and Tunbridge Wells Rangers. He made a single appearance for the England national football team and later in life was a manager in the Netherlands.



Coleman was born in Kettering, Northamptonshire and first played for local non-league clubs, Kettering Town and then Northampton Town in 1901. He was signed by Second Division Woolwich Arsenal in the summer of 1902, and immediately became a regular goalscorer for the club.

Coleman made his debut against Preston North End on 6 September 1902, and in his first season was top scorer with 17 goals in 30 matches, as Arsenal finished third. The following season he broke his own record and scored 23 goals in 28 games, which along with strike partner Tommy Shanks' 25 goals, helped Arsenal to second spot and thus promotion to the First Division. Coleman found 1905–06, his first season at the top, tough going (he only scored five goals), but the following season he scored 15 in 34 matches. Coleman's season was topped with Arsenal reaching the FA Cup semi-finals (which they lost to Newcastle United), and his one and only cap for England, against Ireland on 16 February 1907. [3]

Despite their success on the pitch, Woolwich Arsenal were suffering from financial difficulties, and willingly accepted a bid of £700 for Coleman from Everton in February 1908, near the end of the 1907–08 season. [3] In total, Coleman had played 196 games for Arsenal, scoring 84 goals. Coleman was a regular during the two and a half seasons he spent at Goodison Park, helping the Toffees to runners-up spot in 1908–09, and scoring 30 goals in 71 league appearances. [4] While at Everton, he was notable for being one of the few players, along with most of the Manchester United squad, to maintain their membership of the Players' Union (the forerunner of the Professional Footballers' Association), in defiance of Football Association rules. After a standoff, the FA backed down.

Coleman later had spells at Sunderland (1910–11),. [5] Fulham (1911–14), [5] and Nottingham Forest (1914–15). With the outbreak of the First World War and the suspension of first-class football, Coleman retired from the professional game, although he still played in non-league football, most notably for Tunbridge Wells Rangers, finally retiring in 1921. He subsequently served as player-manager of the reserve team at Maidstone United. [6] Coleman later moved to the Netherlands, where he managed a number of the clubs to promotion. [7] He died at St Mary Abbots Hospital in November 1940, at the age of 59, when he fell through the roof of a generating station in South Kensington. [7]

Personal life

Coleman served as a private in the Middlesex Regiment during the First World War and was awarded the Military Medal for bravery in October 1918. [1] [8] On 29 December 1916, Coleman was misreported in the Sporting Chronicle as having been killed in action. [9]


As a player

Woolwich Arsenal

As a manager

SC Enschede

VV Oldenzaal

DHC Delft


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  1. 1 2 3 "John George Coleman". Football and the First World War. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  2. 1 2 "England Players – Tim Coleman" . Retrieved 31 May 2020.
  3. 1 2 3 "John Coleman | Arsenal.com". www.arsenal.com. Retrieved 30 September 2015.
  4. "John Coleman | Everton Football Club". www.evertonfc.com. Retrieved 30 September 2015.
  5. 1 2 "SAFC – OTD 18 Jun". safc.com. Archived from the original on 22 June 2016. Retrieved 14 October 2015.
  6. Riddoch, Andrew; Kemp, David (2010). When the Whistle Blows: The Story of the Footballers' Battalion in the Great War. Sparkford, Yeovil, Somerset: Haynes Publishing. pp. 261–262. ISBN   978-0857330772.
  7. 1 2 3 4 5 Bollerman, Theo. "Oorlogsheld en kampioenstrainer Tim Coleman" (PDF) (in Dutch). Retrieved 31 May 2020.
  8. Mark Andrews (8 November 2015). "WW1: Gunners at War". The Arsenal History. Retrieved 31 May 2020.
  9. Riddoch & Kemp 2010, p. 77-78.