Eastwood, Nottinghamshire born outside right Alf Ward began his football career with Clowne White Star from where he joined First Division club Notts County in 1903, making his Football League debut against Middlesbrough that October. Having made 8 appearances during a single season at Meadow Lane, he signed for Southern League club Brighton & Hove Albion in the 1904 close season, where his opportunities were similarly limited and where he made only 3 first team starts.
The following summer, he moved to Scotland to join Aberdeen, who had just been elected to join an expanded Scottish Football League First Division. Ward spent two seasons at Pittodrie, in both of which The Dons finished 12th in the League, Ward scoring 10 goals in 26 appearances. He then returned to England in the summer of 1907, to join Bradford Park Avenue who, despite being based in Yorkshire, had been elected to join the Southern League.
The following summer, he returned to the south coast to join another Southern League club, Southampton. He joined The Saints’ 1908 summer tour of Europe; at Leipzig, in the final match of the tour, Ward displaced the cartilage of his right knee. On his return to England, he underwent three operations on his knee in an effort to repair the injury. By January 1909, he had recovered sufficiently to make his Southampton debut in place of Frank Jefferis, when he scored the only goal in a 1-0 victory over Brentford. Still troubled with his knee, he only managed three further first team matches and one further goal before being forced to retire in the summer of 1909.