Amble, Northumberland born left half Ridley Burton began his football career with Gateshead Rodsley and played for Seaton Delaval in 1912 before having an unsuccessful trial with Middlesbrough. He played for Windy Nook in 1913 and Newcastle City in 1914, and for Close Works in 1918, but after the First World War he signed for Second Division Grimsby Town in July 1919, making his Football League debut against Birmingham in December the same year. He made 13 appearances for Grimsby but at the end of the season they suffered relegation and he was not retained.
Burton joined North Eastern League club West Stanley in 1920 and had an unsuccessful trial with Birmingham before joining newly elected Third Division (North) club Ashington in July 1921, but he didn’t feature at all in 1921-22. He made his debut for Ashington in a heavy defeat at Wigan Borough in August 1922 and didn’t regain his place until October, but thereafter was a regular, scoring his only goal in a Boxing Day defeat at Accrington Stanley. However he lost his place in April 1923 and didn’t play at all in 1923-24 before joining non league Chester-le-Street in 1924 after 30 appearances for Ashington. He later played for Preston Colliery in 1925 before his eventual retirement.