Lytham, Lancashire born centre forward or inside left Herbert Swann began his football career with Lytham Institute from where he signed for First Division club Bury in April 1903, making his Football League debut at Wolverhampton Wanderers on Boxing Day the same year, and he established himself in the team before he was dropped after scoring in Bury’s 10-3 humiliation to The Corinthians in The Sheriff of London Charity Shield match at Queen’s Club, West Kensington in March that year. He found opportunities limited at Gigg Lane over the following two seasons, and by the time he joined Southern League club Plymouth Argyle in the 1906 close season he had scored 12 goals in 43 appearances for The Shakers.
Having made his Plymouth debut at the start of September in a defeat at Portsmouth, Swann made a stunning start to his Argyle career, scoring all five goals in a 5-0 Western League victory over Millwall, in just his third game. The Argyle handbook describes him as “a little ‘un, very good and nippy and finishes well under all conditions”. He proved this again by scoring in six consecutive games mid-way through the season, but despite this, he left the club before the end of the campaign, primarily due to financial problems at Home Park.
He signed for Crystal Palace in April 1907 having netted 15 goals in 29 appearances for The Pilgrims and he enjoyed two seasons at The Crystal Palace where he was a regular performer scoring 16 goals in 72 appearances, before joining Queen’s Park Rangers in 1909, his last known club before his eventual retirement.