Pye Bridge, Alfreton, Derbyshire born full back Charlie Bicknell began his early career in non-league football, playing for New Tupton Ivanhoe in 1926 before joining Third Division (North) Chesterfield in October 1927, for whom he made his Football League debut at the start of the following season at Wrexham in August 1928, being an ever present for The Spireites during his debut season. In March 1930 he was signed by Bradford City after 85 appearances for the Saltergate club.
His consistency for The Bantams was admirable. He missed one match during his debut season, 1930-31, and was then an ever present for 4 consecutive seasons, and in March 1936, having not missed a match that season either, he was bought by West Ham United after 2 goals in 254 appearances for The Bantams. At West Ham he played both sides of the Second World War and captained them to their 1940 War Cup Final win.
Bicknell left West Ham in 1947 after scoring once in 152 appearances, and was appointed player-manager of Bedford Town in April 1948, where he remained in charge until 1951, after which he remained involved at the club until 1959.