Wanstead, London born left back Walter Rayner’s playing career started at Leytonstone in 1904, and he played for South Weald in 1906 before he joined Southern League Norwich City in August 1907. He played 12 matches for Norwich in the Southern League and then joined Luton Town in May 1909, playing twice for The Hatters before leaving in April 1910. He joined non league Peterborough City in 1910 where he was appointed player-manager from August 1911 and then joined Croydon Common in August 1912, playing for them until 1914 but only making 3 appearances for them in the Southern League.
He started his League management career at Charlton Athletic in June 1920 where he was their first ever professional manager, having been formerly a coach at both Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal during the First World War. His spell as manager at The Valley coincided with the club’s first season as a professional club in the Third Division (South), and in 1923 they disposed of three First Division clubs in a magical FA Cup run. His tenure of the Charlton hot seat ended in controversy when he was sacked due to alleged financial irregularities on 1st May 1925. He then had a short spell as manager of Wigan Borough from July 1925 to January 1926.