Shettleston, Glasgow born left back Hector Girvan began his football career with Townhead Benburb and played for Parkhead Juniors in 1923, from where he was signed by Scottish Second Division club Bo’ness a year later, spending two seasons at Newtown Park before being signed by Second Division club Reading in August 1926. He made his Football League debut in a win over Oldham Athletic in February 1927, and appeared 6 more times before the season end, but he remained on the fringes at Elm Park for two subsequent seasons, making a further 26 appearances for The Royals as they struggled in the lower reaches of the division.
In May 1929 he transferred to Swindon Town and it was at The County Ground that he enjoyed four seasons of regular football in The Robins’ first eleven, being an ever present in their 1930-31 campaign, missing only two matches the following season and three in 1932-33. After 157 appearances for Swindon Town he left the club in the 1933 close season to join Southern League club Margate, where he played for two seasons before joining nearby Ramsgate in 1935. He joined Canterbury Waverley later the same year, his final known club before his eventual retirement.