Boston, Lincolnshire born inside left Charlie Craven played for Boston Trinity in 1927 and joined Boston Town in 1928, before he signed as a professional for First Division Grimsby Town in May 1930, making his Football League debut against Sheffield Wednesday in September 1930. He played for Grimsby Town for eight seasons alongside the likes of Jackie Bestall, Pat Glover and Harry Betmead during the most successful period in the club’s history. Although they were relegated in 1932 they were Second Division Champions in 1934 with Craven scoring 18 goals. In May 1935 he was a non playing reserve for England against Holland in Amsterdam on their summer tour of The Netherlands.
Between 1933 and 1938 he missed only 2 games for Grimsby Town, and when he signed for Manchester United for £6,000 in June 1938 he had scored 102 goals in 273 games for The Mariners. His spell at Old Trafford was a brief one, yielding 2 goals in 11 games in six months before he joined Birmingham City in December 1938. He played 21 games for The Blues during the remainder of that season scoring twice as Birmingham were relegated in May 1939, after which he joined non league Tamworth, whereafter his career was interrupted by the Second World War. He later continued playing for Tamworth until 1951 before joining Sutton Town where he finished his playing days.