Bo’ness, West Lothian born right back Duncan McDonald began his football career with Duntocher Hibs, and played for Glasgow Perthshire in 1907, playing for hometown Central League club Bo’ness from where he was signed by First Division club Woolwich Arsenal in April 1909. He made his Football League debut at Manchester United at the end of October, replacing Archie Gray at left back, and although Gray returned for a match, McDonald played most of Arsenal’s remaining fixtures that season as Joe Shaw came in to replace Gray at left back two weeks later with McDonald switching to the right side.
McDonald, having played 26 matches for Arsenal, was not included in Arsenal’s opening fixture of the 1910-11 season, a home defeat to Manchester United on 1st September, when Archie Gray was preferred alongside Shaw. McDonald then came back into the side two days later in place of Gray, but he lost his place the next week to Andy Ducat before Gray was re-instated in October with Ducat resuming his more familiar right half role. McDonald was restricted to reserve team football and moved to North Eastern League club Hartlepools United in the 1911 close season, his last recorded club before his eventual retirement.