Arbroath, Angus born outside left David Neave began his football career with Forfar Athletic in 1901 and joined Montrose in 1902 before a spell with his hometown club Arbroath in 1903. In March 1904 he moved south of the border to join newly promoted First Division club Woolwich Arsenal, but found opportunities limited by the presence of both both Charlie Satterthwaite and Bobby Templeton, and had to wait until December of that year to make his Football League debut at Small Heath (Birmingham City), playing only twice more that season.
He left to join Southern League Leyton in May 1905, but by the end of the year had returned to Woolwich Arsenal, and from December 1905, when he scored twice on his first senior appearance of his second spell in a 2-2 draw at Preston North End 2 days before Christmas, he was a first team regular. The following season, 1906-07, he was a mainstay as Woolwich Arsenal reached the FA Cup semi-finals, losing 3-1 to The Wednesday at St Andrew’s, and finished 7th in the League.
However by 1910 he was increasingly struggling for his place in the face of competition from Charlie Lewis, and in the summer of 1912 he joined Southern League Merthyr Town after 32 goals in 168 appearances across both spells for The Gunners. His career at Merthyr continued until the First World War, when he returned to Scotland and played for Dunfermline Athletic in 1917, Heart of Midlothian and Clyde in 1918, and finally for Arbroath, with whom he finished his career, returning to join them in 1919.