St Helens, Lancashire born wing half Alf Basnett began his football career with Star Rovers in 1911 and played for Skelmersdale United in 1912, St Helens Town in 1913 and Eccles Borough in 1914 before the outbreak of the First World War. After the War he joined First Division Burnley in 1919, making his Football League debut against Derby County in February 1920, scoring in a 2-0 victory and making a further 5 appearances before the season end as Burnley finished runners up in the League Championship.
He played a further 15 matches in 1920-21 and Burnley went one better, winning the League Championship for the first time in their history, Basnett coming into the team in February 1921 and playing for the rest of the run in to the title, also playing in the 2-0 Charity Shield defeat to Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane at the end of the season. He played half of their games in 1921-22 as they defended their title, finishing third to Liverpool, becoming a regular in the side and being part of the Burnley side that made the 1924 FA Cup semi final, losing 3-0 at Bramall Lane to Aston Villa, before losing his place at the start of the 1925-26 season. He played only 8 more first team games for The Clarets before joining Lincoln City in November 1926 after 5 goals in 157 appearances for Burnley.
He had three seasons at Sincil Bank, and in his second season missed only one match as The Imps finished as runners up in the Third Division (North), but he lost his place in early 1929 and moved to Irish League Ballymena after 6 goals in 98 appearances for Lincoln. He had a single season in Ireland before returning to England joining non league Hereford United in 1930, before returning to Lancashire with Nelson in 1931, where he subsequently finished his career.