Prescot, Lancashire born inside or outside left Dick Birchall began his football career with Newton-le-Willows and played locally for St Helens Town, playing for North Eastern League club Carlisle United in 1909 before joining First Division club Bradford City during 1909-10 , for whom he made his Football League debut against Woolwich Arsenal in March 1910. After joining Hyde later in 1910, he moved to Southern League club Norwich City in 1911 before returning to Lancashire to join Rochdale later the same year.
In 1912 Birchall joined Second Division club Lincoln City, where he played in 2 matches during September without featuring again until after the new year. He scored his only League goal in a 1-1 draw at Blackpool in February 1913, his penultimate appearance of 7 matches for The Imps. During 1913 he featured for Midland League clubs Worksop Town and Rotherham Town, and in 1914 for Mexborough Town before the First World War effectively ended his career, although he played once as a wartime guest for Liverpool in both 1917-18 and 1918-19 and he was briefly back on the books of Bradford City during 1919-20 without making a further appearance for The Bantams.