Derby born outside right Dickie Reader began his football career with Belper Town and played for Ripley Athletic in 1911 before joining Second Division club Leicester Fosse, spending 1912-13 at Filbert Street without making The Fossils’ first eleven. He returned to Ripley Athletic in 1913 from where he was signed by hometown First Division club Derby County, for whom he made his Football League debut at Oldham Athletic in March 1914.
He transferred to Second Division club Bristol City in the summer of 1914 and played only once for The Robins, at former club Derby County in April 1915, before the onset of the First World War forced the suspension of peacetime football a month later. After the cessation of hostilities Reader returned to Ashton Gate in 1919 and played 33 matches in their first peacetime campaign in 1919-20.
But he lost his place in March 1920 and spent two further seasons on the fringe at Bristol City before a transfer to Luton Town in 1922, having scored 4 goals in 56 appearances either side of the War. He made a further 7 appearances for The Hatters in 1922-23 before crossing the Atlantic to play in the nascent North American Soccer Leagues, his career there being uncertain.