John (Tim) Coleman was born in Kettering on 26th October 1881. He played local football before joining Northampton Town in 1901. The following season he was transferred to Woolwich Arsenal. He joined a team that included Jimmy Ashcroft, Roderick McEachrane, William Linward, Tommy Briercliffe, Tommy Shanks and Percy Sands.
Coleman was an immediate success and in his first season he broke the Arsenal league goal scoring record by netting 17 times in 30 games. He developed a great partnership with Tommy Shanks and in the 1903-04 season the club won promotion to the First Division. Shanks was the club's leading scorer with 25 league goals and Coleman got 23 in 28 games.
Arsenal did reasonably well in the First Division finishing in 10th place (1904-05) and 12th (1905-06). The club also had a good FA Cup run that season beating Watford (3-0), Sunderland (5-0), Manchester United (3-2) before losing to Newcastle United 2-0 in the semi-final with Jimmy Howie and Colin Veitch getting the goals. That season Coleman scored 15 goals in 34 appearances.
Arsenal finished in 7th place in the 1906-07 season. Once again they had a good cup run beating Bristol City (2-1), Bristol Rovers (1-0) and Barnsley (2-1) before losing to Sheffield Wednesday 3-1 in the semi-final.
Coleman won his first and only international cap for England against Ireland on 16th February. The England team that day also included Joe Bache, Bob Crompton, Sam Hardy, George Hilsdon and William Wedlock. England won the game 1-0.
In the 1908-09 season Coleman helped his new club to finish in 2nd place in the First Division. Coleman had scored 30 goals in 71 games. He later played for Sunderland (20 goals in 32 games), Fulham (45 goals in 94 games) and Nottingham Forest (14 goals in 37 games).
Tim Coleman died in November 1940.