Workington, Cumberland, outside left Dan Hurst began his football career with local club Black Diamonds in 1896, from where he joined First Division Blackburn Rovers in 1897 at the age of 20, along with left half Peter Chambers. He made his Football League debut at West Bromwich Albion in February 1898, establishing himself in the first team the following season and top scoring for the club with 14 goals. After three years with Blackburn, during which time he scored 19 goals in 60 appearances and was selected to represent the Football League XI in a 3-1 win over The Irish League at Burnden Park in November 1899, Hurst returned to Cumberland in 1900 to join his hometown club, Workington.
A year later, he returned to Football League action with First Division Manchester City, playing 15 times in his season there, however after their relegation he joined Newton Heath, soon to be renamed Manchester United, in the summer of 1902. He made his debut for Manchester United away to Gainsborough Trinity on 6th September 1902, before then scoring in three consecutive games, against Burton United, Bristol City and Glossop. His only other goal for the club came in a 3-1 win over Lincoln City on 8th November 1902. He left Manchester United at the end of the 1902-03 season after 4 goals in 21 appearances, before retiring from football.