Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Leicestershire born inside right Clive German remained an amateur footballer throughout his career which began with Rawden in 1921. After playing for Oxford University in 1923, he helped Corinthians from 1924. In February 1927 he played for England against The Rest in an England amateur international trial at Bloomfield Road, Blackpool, but never won an amateur international cap, before signing forms for Second Division club Nottingham Forest in January 1928, for whom he made his Football League debut in the derby at Notts County the following month, scoring the winner in a 2-1 win. He also scored in his next match a month later, a 3-5 defeat at Blackpool, but these were the only two first team appearances he made in his debut season.
During 1929-30 he scored a hat-trick in a 5-2 win over Bristol City in December 1929, making 21 appearances during the campaign, although in 1930-31 his appearances were more occasional, and he returned to play for The Corinthians in 1931 after 10 goals in 32 appearances for Forest. In 1932 he played for Yorkshire Amateurs.