Coatbridge, Lanarkshire born inside forward Willie Macdonald began his football career with Law Scotia in 1924 and joined Scottish League club Dundee United in 1925, making his League debut against Motherwell that September. He was released after just 3 appearances and joined Broxburn United in 1926, moving to Armadale later the same year, before returning to top flight football with Airdrieonians in 1928.
After three seasons at Broomfield Park he was signed by Second Division Manchester United in 1931, making his Football League debut in a win over Bradford City in April 1932 and playing once more before the season end. He broke into United’s first eleven from the start of the following season, and scored 4 goals in 21 appearances in 1932-33, but managed just 4 more matches in 1933-34 before being released, joining Tranmere Rovers in the 1934 close season.
He was an ever present for Tranmere during 1934-35 and scored 20 goals in 89 appearances during two seasons at Prenton Park before a move to Second Division Coventry City in the summer of 1936. He scored 12 goals in Coventry’s 1937-38 campaign as they chased promotion, eventually finishing fourth in the Second Division, but lost his place in January 1939 and played just 4 more matches for The Sky Blues in March before a transfer to Plymouth Argyle in the 1939 close season after 24 goals in 96 appearances for Coventry.
He played in the first two games of the subsequently abandoned 1939-40 Football League season, with the Second World War’s outbreak in September 1939, and then regularly in the South West Regional League until the end of the season. He then returned to Glasgow on war work, and also played for East Fife during the conflict. Being already 34 at the outbreak of War, he had retired from the game by the time hostilities ceased.