Wapping, London born inside right Danny Shea was a great hero at West Ham United who began his junior career playing for Pearl United in 1905 and Manor Park Albion in 1906, from where he joined Southern League club West Ham in November 1907, making his debut the following month against Norwich City. He was the club’s top scorer for five consecutive seasons between 1908 and 1912, including 31 in 43 matches during 1909-10. After 121 goals in 201 Southern League and FA Cup appearances for The Hammers, he joined League Champions Blackburn Rovers in January 1913 for a then record transfer fee of £2,000 and helped them regain the League title in his first full season, 1913-14, before the onset of the First World War forced the suspension of peacetime football in May 1915.
During the War, Shea was back guesting for West Ham United, for whom he was sent off in 1916 for fighting, also guesting for Nottingham Forest and Birmingham in 1918. He also played a single Scottish League match while on loan to Celtic in January 1919 against Clyde.
After the War he resumed playing for Blackburn Rovers in the First Division in 1919-20 but following 64 goals in 105 appearances for Rovers, Shea made the move back to West Ham United permanent on 21st May 1920 for a £1,000 fee, after being placed on the Rovers transfer list. But his powers were waning. After 16 League appearances and a solitary goal, Shea joined Fulham six months later on 30th November of that year, where he made 107 appearances and scored 24 goals. Coventry City signed Shea in August 1923, and 12 goals in 64 appearances followed. Later being placed on the transfer list at his own request, Clapton Orient signed him on 14th March 1925, and after 33 League appearances and 8 goals he finished his playing career with Kent League club Sheppey United when he signed on 15th October 1926, his final club before the end of a career with well over 200 goals scored.
He played twice for England, making his debut against Ireland at Ayresome Park, Middlesbrough in February 1914 against Ireland and playing the next month against Wales Ninian Park, Cardiff, and also in two England Victory internationals in 1919, two Football League representative matches and three Southern League representative matches.