Mansfield born full back Cecil Shaw began his football career with Blidworth Juniors in 1926 and played for Rainworth Church in 1927 and Rufford Colliery in 1928 before joining Second Division Wolverhampton Wanderers, turning professional with them in February 1930 and making his Football League debut at Hull City in the last game of the season that May. He played 10 matches as Wolves won the Second Division Championship in 1931-32, and from March 1933 was an automatic inclusion in the Wolves starting line up, missing only one game through to the end of October 1936.
Shaw then transferred to local rivals West Bromwich Albion in December 1936 after 8 goals, all penalties, in 183 appearances for Wolves. Albion broke their transfer record to secure his services, paying the £7,500 fee in two instalments. He made his Albion debut the same month, against Liverpool at Anfield, and was an ever present through to the outbreak of the Second World War, playing in every game for The Baggies through to the third “abandoned” fixture of the 1939-40 season, although by then they had been relegated to the Second Division a year earlier.
During the Second World War he continued to represent Albion, as well as making guest appearances for Nottingham Forest and Blackpool, but after the War he returned to The Hawthorns and played 8 more League and FA Cup fixtures before joining Hereford United in 1947, where he finished his playing career in 1949. He scored 10 goals, all penalties, in 127 appearances both sides of the War for West Bromwich. He later refereed in the Oldbury & District leagues and worked as a scout for West Bromwich Albion.