Openshaw, Manchester born left back Herbert Burgess began his football career in 1898, playing for Gorton St Francis, Openshaw United and Edge Lane that year and for Moss Side in 1899. He joined Second Division Glossop North End in March 1900 and made his Football League debut against Liverpool the following month, becoming a regular in Glossop’s first eleven from the end of September. After 3 seasons with The Hillmen, when he scored once in 85 appearances, he was signed by Manchester City in July 1903. In his first season at City they finished runners up in the League Championship and won the 1904 FA Cup Final, beating Bolton Wanderers 1-0 at The Crystal Palace courtesy of a first half Billy Meredith goal.
He won his first England caps in the months ahead of the Final, being selected to play in a 2-2 draw with Wales at Wrexham in February, and then playing in a 3-1 win over Ireland at Cliftonville Gardens, Belfast in March and a 1-0 win over Scotland at Hampden Park in April as England won the British Championship. He was later recalled in April 1906 for his fourth and final cap, also at Hampden Park, although this time Scotland won the match 2-1. He also played three times for The Football League.
Manchester City continued to do well in the League Championship, however in 1906, in the wake of a scandal regarding players’ wages, City were forced into selling most of their players, and Burgess, having scored twice in 94 appearances for The Citizens, was purchased by Manchester United along with Sandy Turnbull, Jimmy Bannister and Billy Meredith. After helping The Red Devils to win the 1907-08 League Championship, Burgess left the club in 1910 after 54 appearances and moved to Denmark to play for Kristiania.
He then emigrated to Hungary, where he played for MTK Budapest, before becoming their manager from 1921 to 1922. In the 1920’s, Burgess’ managerial career took him to Italy, where he became the manager of Padova from 1922 to 1926. He had a two-year spell at Milan before returning to Padova in 1928, but two years later he was on the move again, this time to Roma, where he stayed until 1932.