Reginald Garnet 'Tim' Williamson holds a record that will surely never be beaten. Boro's all-time record appearance maker played more than 600 league and cup games as our goalkeeper, of which a staggering 130 were consecutive.
North Ormesby-born and known as Tiny – he was barely 5ft10 – Williamson played centre-forward for Coatham Grammar School as a boy but had taken over between the sticks by the time he first played for Boro as a 17-year-old.
Goalkeeper in the first league game at Ayresome Park and last at Linthorpe Road, he was initially an understudy to Scottish international Rab MacFarlane but had made the jersey his own by 1903/04. Williamson rarely talked football – but supporters were soon talking of him.
Clever at anticipating shots and decisive at clearing, he would often stand for long periods of the game with both hands on his hips. As eccentric as it gets, Williamson would never drop to one knee to pick up the ball, preferring instead to gather it with both feet together and scoop it up in a clutching embrace.
And in moments to give his managers heart failure, he would often deftly sidestep his opponent, lob the ball over him and run around the player to catch the ball.
He even took and scored two penalties, but after missing one against West Ham he never took another, feeling the race back to guard his goal was too risky…and tiring!
A qualified draughtsman, work commitments meant he missed Boro's first ever European tour to Denmark in 1907, but by 1910 he was becoming a legend on Teesside, with his name chalked between imaginary goalposts across the area.
Williamson became England's youngest and Boro's first capped keeper when he played against Ireland in February 1905, but during a quiet game, he dropped the ball into his own net, was credited with an own goal and ended up waiting six years for his next cap.
His final match at Boro – an otherwise unremarkable 1-0 defeat to Cardiff City in March 1923, saw 38-year-old Williamson become the oldest player to represent the club, a record that would stand until the final days of Bryan Robson’s playing career 74 years later.
On retirement, Williamson continued in goal for his works football team and rarely went to Ayresome, preferring to play golf and go shooting.