Northampton born winger Colin Lyman played for Rushden Town in 1932 before joining Southend United, for whom he made his Football League debut against Cardiff City in April 1934, a match that would prove his only Southend appearance. He joined hometown club Northampton Town that November, and such was his good form that he attracted the attention of Tottenham Hotspur, who signed him in October 1937 after 30 goals in 92 appearances. However the Second World War soon shortened his Spurs career, when it came he had scored 11 goals in 53 appearances. During the War he guested for Leicester City, Notts County, Chesterfield, Derby County, Coventry City and Port Vale.
After the War he returned to Tottenham Hotspur and played an additional 2 FA Cup ties in the 1946 competition as Spurs were beaten over two legs by Brentford. Having played four games for Port Vale as a guest in 1946, he signed permanently for the club in May 1946 for a ‘fairly substantial fee’. He had scored once in 11 appearances in the new season for Vale before he was signed by Second Division Nottingham Forest the same October. Scoring on his debut against Leicester City, he scored 10 goals in 27 appearances over the remainder of the season. He then moved across the city to Notts County in August 1947 scoring 5 goals in 21 appearances during a single season at Meadow Lane, before he joined non league Nuneaton Borough in 1948, playing thereafter for Long Eaton Town in 1951 and British Timken in 1952 before his eventual retirement.