Bolton, Lancashire born outside right Bert Cartman began his football career with Waterloo Temperance, from where he signed for hometown First Division club Bolton Wanderers after the end of the First World War in 1919, making his Football League debut at Bradford City that December. Mainly a fringe player during his three seasons at Burnden Park, 13 of his 22 appearances came in their 1921-22 campaign, after which he was signed by Second Division club Manchester United, where he only played 3 first team matches for The Red Devils, all in December 1922.
In the summer of 1923 he was signed by Third Division (North) club Tranmere Rovers, and during his first two seasons at Prenton Park he was a near ever present for Tranmere, missing only one match each season. He remained a regular for five more seasons, his best goalscoring return coming in 1928-29 when he scored 8 goals in 29 matches. The next season proved his final one for Tranmere, and again he was a near ever present missing only one match, but in the summer of 1930 he joined non league club Chorley after 33 goals in 234 appearances for Tranmere Rovers. He subsequently joined Burscough Rangers in 1931 and played for Westhoughton Collieries in 1932, his final recorded club before his eventual retirement.