Byker born inside forward Ossie Bowden played for Newcastle United Swifts from October 1929 before joining First Division Derby County in May 1930, making his Football League debut at Bolton Wanderers in March 1933. He scored in a 2-2 draw at Middlesbrough two weeks later, but this would be his only goal in a 10 game spell before joining Nottingham Forest in June 1935.
He made his Forest debut at Fulham in September 1935 and scored in a 2-2 draw against Blackpool at the beginning of October. His total of 3 goals in 14 appearances for Forest saw them survive in Division One finishing just above the relegation places two seasons in a row. He joined Brighton & Hove Albion in June 1937 but only managed one appearance for them in November 1937, thereafter joining Southampton in June of 1938, for whom he only appeared twice in the autumn of 1938 before calling time on his professional football career after he was freed by Southampton the following summer.