Westhoughton, near Bolton, Lancashire born inside forward Sam Marsh initially played youth football with Daisy Hill in 1899 and Hindley in 1900, he joined Atherton Church House in 1901 before signing as a professional for First Division Bolton Wanderers in 1902, making his Football League debut against Everton the same November and scoring a creditable 9 goals in 16 appearances in a season that ended in relegation for The Trotters.
After 21 goals in 1903-04, including hat-tricks against Gainsborough Trinity and Barnsley, he was the top scorer in the Second Division during the 1904-05 season with 27 goals, with a hat-trick in a rout of Burton United. On the back of his goals Bolton were promoted as Second Division runners up, remaining in the top division another 3 seasons before relegation in 1908. Although they finished as Second Division Champions in 1909 Marsh, who had switched into the half back line from 1907, made only 7 appearances, and they yo-yo’d again with immediate relegation and immediate promotion, this time as Second Division runners up in 1911, with Marsh making 16 League appearances.
At the end of the 1911-12 season, he joined Bury. In his ten years with Bolton, Marsh made a total of 201 first-team appearances, scoring 81 goals. But after only one season at Bury, in which he played three League matches in September 1912, Marsh retired from professional football.