Arnold, Nottinghamshire born outside left Walter Anthony began his football career with Heanor Town in 1898 and played for Osmaston in 1899 and Newstead Byron in 1900 before joining First Division Nottingham Forest in February 1904, making his Football League debut against Middlesbrough that April, his only appearance of the season. The following season he made only 6 further appearances, before joining Southern League Brighton & Hove Albion in May 1905.
Described by club historian Tim Carder as “a tricky little ball-player, noted for the accuracy of his crosses with either foot”. After Brighton eliminated First Division Preston North End from the 1907-08 FA Cup after two replays, he attracted attention from bigger clubs, and Blackburn Rovers were convinced to sign Anthony and two teammates, Dick Wombwell and Joe Lumley, for “a substantial sum”, widely reported as £750, Anthony having scored 13 goals in 119 appearances for Brighton.
Anthony soon established himself at outside left in Blackburn’s first team and continued to be a regular for a further five seasons, winning the League Championship in 1911-12 with Rovers, when he made 32 appearances in the campaign including playing in their FA Cup semi final team, defeated in a replay by West Bromwich Albion at Bramall Lane, and in the end of season FA Charity Shield match, when Rovers defeated Queen’s Park Rangers 2-1 at White Hart Lane.
But he lost his place in March 1913 and made only one appearance in Blackburn’s 1913-14 League Championship winning season, playing in a 1-1 draw with Tottenham Hotspur at Ewood Park in February 1914. At the end of the season, the Football League gave Rovers permission to pay Anthony a lump sum in lieu of the benefit match for which he qualified after five years service, before Anthony left the club for Stalybridge Celtic in January 1915 after 14 goals in 164 appearances for Blackburn.
His playing career was ended by the onset of the First World War, during which Anthony served in the Army and retired from professional football.
He was the younger brother of George and Henry Anthony, who both played cricket for Nottinghamshire, as did his uncle Alfred Anthony.