Carluke, Lanarkshire born wing half David Steele started his football career as a part-timer first with Armadale in 1912 before moving to St Mirren in 1913, all the while working as a miner before the First World War. After the War he moved to Scottish junior club Douglas Water Thistle in 1918.
In 1919, he joined then Southern League club Bristol Rovers playing for them during their first years in the Football League after they became members of the newly formed Division Three, making his Football League debut in their inaugural League fixture at Millwall in August 1920. After 2 seasons at Eastville and 3 goals in 70 appearances (ex the 1919-20 Southern League season), Herbert Chapman signed Steele in a £2,500 deal to take him to Huddersfield Town in May 1922. Steele spent seven years at Huddersfield, winning a hat-trick of League Championships between 1924 and 1926, two League runners-up spots in 1927 and 1928, an FA Cup runners-up medal in 1928 when they were beaten 3-1 in the Final by Blackburn Rovers, and three caps for Scotland all awarded between March and April 1923 when he played in British Championship victories over Ireland and Wales and in a 2-2 draw against England at Hampden Park. He joined Preston North End in May 1929 on a free transfer after 3 goals in 203 appearances for Huddersfield, where he finished his playing days in July 1930 after 2 goals in 30 Second Division appearances.
Steele began his managerial career when he worked at Bury as a player-coach in 1930 although he retired from playing without featuring for their first eleven. Similar coaching roles followed at Danish side Bold Klubben F.C. and Sheffield United. In May 1936, he was appointed Bradford Park Avenue manager. He spent six years at Park Avenue and even turned out as an emergency centre forward against Sheffield Wednesday in October 1942 scoring one goal. He resigned in 1943 to rejoin Huddersfield Town. In the club’s first post-war season, Huddersfield finished just one place above the relegation positions in Division One and Steele resigned.
He was working on the family’s fruit farm when Bradford City tempted him back into football in July 1948. He became the second man, after Peter O’Rourke to manage both Bradford league clubs. He won just one of his first 18 games in charge as City finished bottom of Division Three (North) in 1948-49. The following season City came 19th, before a 7th-place finish in 1950-51. Steele left in February 1952 with the club again struggling in the bottom half of the League. He returned to Huddersfield Town for a third time as a scout.
His grandson, David Shaw played for Town in the 1970’s.