Worsborough Bridge, near Barnsley born outside right George Purcell began his football career with Victory Working Mens’ Club in 1921 and from there signed for Second Division club Stockport County in February 1923, making his Football League debut at Blackpool at the end of the next month in one of two first team appearances he made before the season end. The following season he scored 4 goals in 19 appearances for The Hatters but left Stockport in August 1924, signing for Swindon Town. At Swindon he was again on the first team fringes, scoring twice in 18 appearances over the next two seasons.
In August 1926 he joined Exeter City and immediately he became a mainstay of the team, missing only 5 matches in as many seasons after his arrival at St James Park. In 1927-28 he scored 18 goals including 5 in their FA Cup run which saw them beaten in a replay by eventual winners Blackburn Rovers in the fourth round. Two years later he played 8 ties as The Grecians went to the FA Cup quarter finals, having beaten Derby County and Leeds United on the way, where they held Sunderland to a draw at Roker Park only to lose 4-2 on home soil in the replay in a match in which Purcell scored.
In June 1932 he signed for Gillingham after 63 goals in 249 appearances for Exeter, playing two more seasons for the Priestfield club, scoring 20 goals in 53 appearances before returning north to join non league Gainsborough Trinity in 1934. He then joined Frickley Colliery in 1935 and played for Townrow Sports in 1936, his last recorded club.