Burton-on-Trent born full back Teddy Kirkland played for Trinity Strollers in 1896 before joining hometown Second Division club Burton Swifts in March 1898, making his Football League debut at Manchester City a month later. From December 1898 he became a first team regular and continued in the team when Swifts merged with Burton Wanderers to become Burton United. He remained an ever present or near ever present except for missing most of 1902-03 (through injury?), until Burton United lost their League status at the end of 1906-07 when, having finished bottom, they were not re-elected. Kirkland continued to play for Burton United, as well as other local clubs – Burton All Saints, Byrkley, and Burton Town – well into the next decade. He made 281 senior appearances for the combined Burton Swifts and United, scoring once in a 3-1 win over Woolwich Arsenal in January 1904.