Dowlais, Glamorgan born winger Syd Protheroe began his football career at Dowlais Welfare in 1930 and spent 1931-32 on the books of Charlton Athletic as an amateur, without making a first team appearance. He played for Machynlleth in 1932 before turning professional with Merthyr Town later the same year, from where he joined Wolverhampton Wanderers in May 1933, spending 1933-34 on their books, but again without forcing his way into their first eleven.
He then joined Division Three (South) Torquay United in May 1934, making his Football League debut at Gillingham that August, playing regularly in his debut season. But he soon found himself a fringe player and moved to Rochdale in June 1936 after 5 goals in 41 appearances. At Spotland he spent two seasons as a regular fixture in their line-up, scoring 14 goals in 66 appearances for ‘Dale, before he joined Notts County in June 1938. However he played only twice for the Magpies’ first team that August and September, before his career was effectively finished by the outbreak of the Second World War.