Ernest Bambridge was born in Windsor, Berkshire, the fourth child of Sophia (née Thorington) and William Samuel Bambridge, who had been a missionary in Waimate, New Zealand, and was then the photographer to Queen Victoria. He was educated at St Mark's School in Windsor.
His football career was spent with Windsor Home Park, Swifts, East Sheen and Corinthian and he gained representative honours for Berkshire. His solitary England appearance came on 4 March 1876 against Scotland at Hamilton Crescent, Partick. According to Philip Gibbons, "England struggled throughout the game, which saw the home team run out winners by three goals to nil." He was a member of the Football Association committee from 1876 to 1882 and a member of the Corinthians original committee in 1882.
- Gibbons, Philip (2001). Association Football in Victorian England - A History of the Game from 1863 to 1900. Upfront Publishing. p. 46. ISBN 1-84426-035-6.
- "Only instance of three footballing brothers playing for England". London: www.timesonline.co.uk. 25 January 2004. Retrieved 10 February 2008.
- Graham Betts (2006). England: Player by player. Green Umbrella Publishing. p. 23. ISBN 1-905009-63-1.