Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Leicestershire born right back Arthur Archer began his football career with Tutbury Hawthorn in 1891 and had a brief spell with Midland League club Burton Wanderers the same year, returning to Tutbury Hawthorn in 1892. He re-joined Burton Wanderers, by now a Second Division club, in February 1895, making his Football League debut the same month against Lincoln City, his only appearance of the season. He played in a variety of positions in sporadic bursts and when he broke into the first team in March 1896 he mainly played at outside right, and at full back, both sides, from November 1896.
He scored once, in a 5-1 win over Grimsby Town in September 1896, but when Burton Wanderers lost their League status at the end of the 1896-97 season he joined Small Heath (now Birmingham City) after 42 appearances. He missed only two matches in his first four seasons, being ever present in 1899-1900 and 1900-01 as Small Heath unsuccessfully challenged for promotion before winning promotion as Second Division runners up, and he was an ever present in their top flight campaign that ended in relegation in 1901. However after a further season in the Second Division he left Muntz Street to join Southern League New Brompton (now Gillingham) in the 1902 close season after 4 goals in 170 appearances.
After a brief spell at London club Wingfield House (later Nunhead) in 1903, he joined Southern League Queen’s Park Rangers in 1903, where he made 52 appearances, and after a loan spell at Tottenham Hotspur he moved to Norwich City in 1905. After two seasons in East Anglia he joined Brighton & Hove Albion in 1907, making 28 appearances in their 1907-08 campaign before returning to London to join Millwall Athletic, retiring after the 1908-09 season.
When he finished playing he coached in Germany, Italy and Belgium, as well as a brief spell in England as a trainer with Watford.