Barnsley born winger Bill Palmer started with Ardsley Nelson in 1906 before joining hometown professional club Barnsley in 1907, although he failed to make their first eleven. Having joined Mexborough Town he returned to The Football League with Nottingham Forest in 1909, making his debut against Notts County that September, and scoring once in 16 games that season. He joined Rotherham County in 1910, moving to Southern League Bristol Rovers in 1912 before a move to First Division Everton in 1913, scoring the winner in his 3rd game in a 1-0 win at Newcastle United.
His Everton career was ended by World War One after 2 goals in 23 games and after the War he re-joined Bristol Rovers, playing in their inaugural Football League fixture at Millwall in August 1920. He scored 11 times in 47 games for The Pirates before a transfer to Gillingham in August 1922, where he scored 5 goals in 38 matches in 1922-23. A move to Doncaster Rovers in June 1923 saw him make only 2 appearances later that summer, already aged 36, before retirement.