Ashington, Northumberland born outside right Matthew Hopper had played locally for Annfield Plain in 1913 and Esh Winning in 1914 before the First World War and joined his hometown professional club, then in the North Eastern League, in 1919 from Percy Main Colliery, before moving to Midland League club Lincoln City in 1920contributing to Lincoln City’s Midland League Championship in 1920-21. He made his senior debut in an FA Cup First Round proper tie at Millwall in January 1921 which Lincoln won 3-0, the Daily Express reported how “the spectators appreciated his clever wing play and shooting”. His performance sufficiently impressed that Millwall signed him three months later with his Football League debut coming against Southampton at the end of April 1921, he also played a week later against Reading.
He played 46 more matches for The Lions over the next two seasons, scoring once, before going into non league football with Catford Southend in 1924 and Sittingbourne in 1925, but he returned to Football League action with Third Division (South) club Coventry City in August 1926, scoring once in 17 appearances, before returning exactly a year later to (by now) hometown Third Division (North) club Ashington, scoring once in 21 matches during 1927-28, before a return to the North East non league football scene, re-joining Annfield Plain in 1928. He subsequently played for Northfleet United in 1929, Consett in 1930, finishing his career with West Moor Welfare in 1931, his last recorded club before his eventual retirement.