Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire born goalkeeper Arthur Cartlidge started his football career with junior clubs Penkell Victoria in 1897 and Market Drayton in 1898 before joining First Division hometown club Stoke in 1899, making his Football League debut against Blackburn Rovers that November. He made 10 appearances as understudy to Tom Wilkes before joining Southern League Bristol Rovers in May 1901. Described as a “splendid specimen of an athlete” he won the Southern League Championship with Rovers in 1904-05 making 258 appearances for Rovers before transferring to Aston Villa in April 1908, succeeding Billy George as Villa’s first choice goalkeeper and playing 35 games as Aston Villa won the 1909-10 League Championship.
He played in their 1-0 Charity Shield defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion in September 1910 but lost his place that December, returning to Stoke, by now in The Southern League, in 1911 after 55 appearances for Villa. He enjoyed two seasons at The Victoria Ground making a further 35 appearances before joining South Shields in 1913, retiring with the onset of First World War in 1915.