Cowes, Isle of Wight born outside right Cyril Matthews began his football career with Cowes in 1918 and played for Walney United in 1919 before joining Third Division (North) club Barrow in the 1921 close season, making his Football League debut against Stockport County that August. Despite The Bluebirds’ lowly standing, his form came to the attention of Second Division Bury, who signed him in December 1923 after 18 goals in 90 appearances for The Cumbrians.
In the second half of the season he helped Bury to promotion, finishing as Second Division runners up, and played half of their matches in 1925-26 as they finished fourth in the League Championship. However he was as often out of the side as in it, and he joined Second Division Notts County in March 1928 after 16 goals in 71 appearances for The Shakers.
However he spent three seasons on the fringes of the first team at Meadow Lane, making only 15 appearances for The Magpies, before joining Lincoln City midway through the 1929-30 season, but he was released by Lincoln at the season end without having made their first eleven, and joined Stockport County. He returned to regular football at Edgeley Park, scoring 10 goals in 36 appearances for The Hatters in 1930-31, but moved on to newly elected Chester in June 1931, his last League club, where he played in their first League fixture, a (later expunged) 4-0 victory over Wigan Borough, and scored once in 10 matches before moving to non league Hyde United in 1932 ahead of his eventual retirement.