Kidderminster, Worcestershire born goalkeeper Gilbert Brookes had an itinerant football career in the early 1920’s. Starting with his local club Kidderminster Harriers after the First World War, he moved to Birmingham & District League club Shrewsbury Town in 1921 and from there to First Division club Stoke City, making his Football League debut at Oldham Athletic in August 1922. He played 14 games for Stoke that season, sharing the gloves with Leslie Scott and Scottish international Kenny Campbell, as they were relegated from the top flight before Brookes made a move to Third Division (South) Swansea Town in the summer of 1923.
At Swansea he played 37 matches in the 1923-24 season but again spent only a season in Wales before a move to Luton Town the following summer. In 1924-25 he was ever present in Luton’s campaign, with 43 matches played, but once again a summer move, this time back to Wales with Merthyr Town, followed. He again dominated the gloves for Merthyr, making 39 appearances in 1925-26, before calling time on his League career and returning to Kidderminster Harriers in 1926.