Quebec, County Durham born outside right Billy McDonald played football for Craghead United and Shirebrook Moors Athletic before signing for Second Division Hull City in February 1912, making his Football League debut the following month at Leeds City. He soon became a regular in The Tigers’ attack, scoring 5 times in 74 appearances before moving to Midland League Chesterfield Town two years later. The First World War then intervened forcing the suspension of peacetime football in May 1915, and subsequently Chesterfield was put into voluntary liquidation.
After the War McDonald joined Durham City in 1919, before moving to Second Division club Fulham that September. He played four seasons at Craven Cottage scoring 3 times in 79 appearances for Fulham, before a return to the Midland League with Shirebrook in 1923. His Football League career resumed in September 1924 when he re-joined (by now) Third Division (North) club Durham City, playing only 6 times that September in a season which would see legendary George Camsell make his debut with City, before returning to Shirebrook before the year end. He later played for Alfreton Town and Hardwick Colliery in 1925, and Grantham in 1926 before hanging up his boots.