Birtley, Northumberland born left half Alfred Garnham played junior football for north east clubs Fatfield Albion in 1931, Herrington Colliery in 1932 and Wearside League club Birtley in 1933 before joining Second Division Newcastle United in April 1934, for whom he made his Football League debut at Norwich City in December 1935 as an emergency left back. He was described at the time as follows: “Has natural talents to play in any defensive position. “Alf”is well endowed physically and plays with his heart. His passing is orthodox but his quick moving of the ball makes him a menace at all times.”
After 21 games in his debut season, all at left back, he played three seasons at wing half, scoring his only career goal in a 3-0 win over Burnley in November 1936, but he only added 29 more appearances over 3 seasons before joining Queen of the South for £500 in May 1939 after a single goal, scored in a 3-0 win over Burnley in November 1936, in 50 appearances for The Toon. After the Second World War he joined non league West Stanley in 1946.