Goalkeeper Ronnie Sewell was born at Wingate, County Durham and started off by playing for Wingate Albion, a local amateur team, in 1910. In the summer of 1911 he was signed as a professional by Second Division Gainsborough Trinity making his Football League debut against Leicester Fosse that September, and immediately became a regular member of their first team in what proved to be the club’s final season in the Football League, missing only one of the 38 League matches and none of their 4 FA Cup ties.
The following season he joined Burnley as understudy to Jerry Dawson when Burnley signed the entire Gainsborough Trinity back line on 1st February 1913, that included Sewell and defenders Sam Gunton and Cliff Jones for a £1800 transfer fee, following an FA Cup second round tie between the two sides. He appeared in their FA Cup Final victory against Liverpool at Crystal Palace in April 1914, although he never really established himself as a first team regular in a Turf Moor career which was interrupted by the First World War. In all, he made a total of only 27 appearances for Burnley over a seven-year World War One interrupted period. Sewell served as a gunner for the Royal Garrison Artillery and guested for Grimsby Town in 1916 and Lincoln City in 1919. He was awarded the Silver War Badge on 9th April 1918 for his Army service having been wounded in the leg by shrapnel in October 1917.
In February 1920 he was transferred to near-neighbours Blackburn Rovers, where he remained until 1927 and where he enjoyed the best of his football career, making 248 appearances for the club and winning one full International cap for England against Wales at Ewood Park on 3rd March 1924.
After leaving Blackburn Rovers, Sewell re-joined Gainsborough Trinity and was a member of their Midland League championship-winning side of 1927-28. Whilst playing for Gainsborough in an away Midland League match against Doncaster Rovers Reserves on 9th March 1929, he sustained a hand injury that eventually prompted his retirement from football.