Manchester born centre forward Alfred Gittins began his football career with Adlington and spent 1903-04 on the books of First Division club Bolton Wanderers without making their first eleven. He then joined Second Division club Blackpool in August 1904, still an amateur, making his Football League debut and only appearance for The Seasiders against West Bromwich Albion in September that year, but he drifted back into non league football with Atherton Church House in 1905 before heading to The Southern League to join Luton Town in May 1906. After a season at Kenilworth Road, where he scored 5 goals in 27 appearances, he joined Queen’s Park Rangers in May 1907 where he won a Southern League Championship medal in 1907-08, finishing as Rangers’ joint top scorer with 16 goals in their triumphant campaign, and before the season end he played in their FA Charity Shield match, the first such match in its history, when they drew 1-1 with League Champions Manchester United at Stamford Bridge.
Having played for Queen’s Park Rangers in the 1908 FA Charity Shield replay where Rangers lost 4-0 to League Champions Manchester United, also at Stamford Bridge that September, Gittins was signed by First Division club Aston Villa in October 1908 after 17 goals in 46 appearances for The R’s, but he made just a single first team appearance for The Villains, playing inside right in a 1-1 draw with Leicester Fosse at Villa Park at the end of the same month, and he was released to return to the Southern League with Croydon Common in May 1909, where he was a regular during The Commoners’ 1909-10 campaign, scoring 7 goals in 30 appearances.
Described as “a brainy forward, a good deal of an optimist and a capital shot”, Gittins moved to Second Division club Fulham in August 1910 but didn’t get to make a first team appearance before joining Portsmouth the same December, where he played in 4 matches for Pompey, returning to Lancashire in August 1911 to join Lancashire Combination club Accrington Stanley. Later the same season he transferred to Barrow in January 1912 before a move to Scottish League football, first with Partick Thistle in May 1912, before a move to Dumbarton in May 1914.
He remained in Scotland with the onset of the First World War, and joined Clydebank in May 1916, before a move to Johnstone a year later. He continued his journeyman career with Vale of Leven, joining them in August 1918, and then on to King’s Park (now Stirling Albion), where he signed in July 1919, spending two years at Forthbank Park before a move to Clackmannan in August 1921. His last known club before his eventual retirement was Stenhousemuir, whom he joined in September 1922, already aged 36.