Bromsgrove, Worcestershire born left winger Richard “Dickie” Roberts played for Redditch Excelsior in 1898 before signing for First Division club West Bromwich Albion in April 1899, for whom he made his Football League debut against Bury in December 1899, soon establishing himself as a regular in the Albion first eleven. He played in their FA Cup semi final team of 1901 that lost 4-0 to eventual winners Tottenham Hotspur at Villa Park, and at the end of the season, with Albion suffering relegation, he was signed by Newcastle United in May 1901 after 10 goals in 52 appearances for The Baggies.
He top scored with 12 goals in his first season at St James’ Park as Newcastle finished third in the League Championship, but he lost his place in April 1903 and transferred to Middlesbrough for £450 in April 1904 after 17 goals in 55 appearances for The Toon. In just over a year at ‘Boro he scored 5 times in 23 matches before moving south to join Southern League Crystal Palace in the summer of 1905 for their first season as a professional club. With Palace he won the Southern League Second Division Championship in that first season and over four years he scored 25 goals in 99 appearances for Palace, but was forced to retire through injury in 1909.