Nottingham born inside forward Albert Carnelly played for junior clubs Beeston St John’s in 1887, Westminster Amateurs (Nottingham) in 1888 and Mapperley in 1889 before joining Notts County in July 1890 but he didn’t make a first team appearance at Meadow Lane during his spell there. He joined non league Loughborough later that year and his senior debut was in an FA Cup tie for Loughborough against Northwich Victoria in January 1893, scoring in a 2-1 home defeat.
In May 1894 he joined First Division Nottingham Forest and he made his Football League debut against Burnley that September, scoring in each of his subsequent 3 matches for Forest in a season haul of 17 goals in 32 appearances, being comfortably Forest’s top goal scorer that season. He followed up with 8 goals in 24 appearances during 1895-96 before joining Second Division Leicester Fosse in May 1896.
In a single season stay at Filbert Street he scored 10 goals in 31 games for The Fossils before joining Southern League Bristol City in 1897. After a spell at Ilkeston Town in 1898 he returned to Bristol City the same year, before heading to London to join Thames Ironworks (soon to be West Ham United) in the summer of 1899, where he scored 14 goals in 34 appearances in 1899-1900. He joined Southern League Millwall Athletic in the 1900 close season before a return to Ilkeston Town in 1901, subsequently playing for Nottingham Corporation Tramways in 1902 before retirement.