Shoreham-by-Sea born right winger Bert Longstaff started his football career in 1902 with hometown club Shoreham before joining Southern League Brighton & Hove Albion in 1906, making his Brighton debut in 1907. He stayed with Brighton until 1923 during which time he won The Southern League Championship in 1909-10 followed by The Charity Shield in 1910 when the Southern League Champions surprisingly defeated Football League Champions Aston Villa with a goal from Charlie Webb. He also played 41 games in the club’s inaugural season in the Football League’s Third Division (South), including featuring in their inaugural fixture at Southend United in August 1920.
During his time with Brighton Bert earned himself two benefit matches, the first in 1913 when the opponents were Portsmouth and with a crowd attendance of 2,000 earned him £135-3s-0d. Unusually, his second benefit in 1923 was after he had left the club in a match against Merthyr Town (then a Division Three South club like Brighton) when the gate was 5,000, this however was a joint benefit with another player so that the shared amount would have been a little over what he had earned in 1913.
By the time he played his last game for Brighton in October 1921 he had scored 86 goals in 443 appearances for The Seagulls, thereby becoming the only Brighton player to hold for a number of years both records for aggregate appearances and goals, being held very much in heroic regard in the town. After he left Brighton in 1923 already aged 38, he got permission from the F.A. to play once again for Shoreham as an amateur, where he subsequently finished his football career.
His younger brother Harvey also played 9 times for Brighton & Hove Albion and also played for Southend United.