Bolton, Lancashire born right winger or inside right Dan Cunliffe started his football career playing junior football. From the age of thirteen, Cunliffe was played for Bolton Orlando for four years, earning a reputation as a ‘deadly shot’. He joined Little Lever in 1894 and Middleton Borough in 1896 and having joined Lancashire League’s Oldham County in 1896 he scored more than 40 goals for them in the 1896-97 season before he was signed by First Division Liverpool in May 1897.
He arrived at Anfield to try to soften the departure of George Allan back to Scotland. Cunliffe made his Football League debut for Liverpool at Stoke in September 1897 making 14 appearances for Liverpool during the 1897-98 season and scoring five times. Numerous changes were made to the club’s forward line during that season and Cunliffe only featured in three of the games played during the second half of the campaign. He also played in four FA Cup ties for Liverpool, scoring the winner in their 2-1 second round replay with Newton Heath in the middle of February 1898. In May 1898 he joined Second Division New Brighton Tower scoring 15 goals in 31 games but after one season left to join Southern League Portsmouth.
Daniel Cunliffe is a well known name in Portsmouth’s history. He joined Pompey before their first season, 1899-1900, helping Portsmouth to finish runners-up in the Southern League and impressed so much that he was chosen to represent England in a 2-0 victory against Ireland in his only international at Lansdowne Road, Dublin on 17th March 1900. He returned, however, to Merseyside in May 1900 and re-joined New Brighton Tower for a second season, scoring 12 goals in 30 appearances before re-joining Portsmouth in the summer of 1901. In his first season back at Fratton Park he top scored with 18 goals as they won the Southern League Championship for the first time.
Cunliffe once again impressed the England selectors and was recalled to the squad, but was a non playing reserve against Wales at Fratton Park in March 1903. He played a total of 202 Southern League and FA Cup matches for Portsmouth across his two spells and scored 110 goals for them, before joining New Brompton in May 1906. After a season at Priestfield he joined Millwall Athletic in 1907 before returning to Lancashire to join non league Heywood United in 1909. He then joined Rochdale in 1912 and Accrington Stanley in 1913 before returning to Heywood United in 1913. He finally played for Walkden Central in 1914 before retirement.