Warwick born inside left Tom Arkesden started with Ashby Albion in 1894 before joining Second Division Burton Wanderers in 1895, for whom he made his Football League debut at Newcastle United in February 1896, scoring 7 goals in 26 appearances over two seasons. In January 1898 he joined First Division Derby County and played for them in the 1899 FA Cup Final which they lost 4-1 to Sheffield United at The Crystal Palace. He scored 14 times in 51 appearances for The Rams over three seasons before joining Second Division Burton United in July 1901, playing two seasons at Burton and top scoring each season with 14 and 13 goals respectively, including a hat-trick against Gainsborough Trinity in March 1902, in 60 matches.
His success at Burton bought him to the attention of Newton Heath, soon to be renamed Manchester United, who signed him in February 1903 for £150, and he found the net regularly during his four seasons at Old Trafford scoring 33 goals in 79 appearances. A move to Gainsborough Trinity followed in July 1907 but after only 6 appearances he re-joined Burton United later the same year, who by this time had lost their League status, and he went on to play for Measham United in 1908.
He was the younger brother of Arthur Arkesden who also played in the Football League for Burton Wanderers.