The youngest of three footballing brothers, Radford, Nottinghamshire born wing half or inside forward Albert Waterall began his football career as an inside right with Radford Institute in 1908 and played for Sneinton in 1909 before joining First Division club Notts County in 1910, making his Football League debut against Aston Villa in April 1911. Initially a fringe player making only 8 appearances in his first two seasons, he had a good run of matches from December 1912, but left the club after their relegation at the end of the season having scored once in 27 appearances, the only top flight goal of his career coming in his last match for The Magpies in a 2-1 win over Oldham Athletic in April 1913, joining Second Division club Stockport County in the 1913 close season.
He soon established himself as a first team regular at Edgeley Park after waiting until October 1913 to make his debut, and he first converted to left half in December that year, playing there for the rest of the 1913-14 campaign, albeit in the final peacetime football season of 1914-15 before peacetime football was suspended due to the onset of the First World War in May 1915, Waterall reverted to the forward line and scored 10 goals during the campaign, mainly playing at centre forward. During the War he served in the Armed Forces and appeared regularly for The Hatters in wartime league football, scoring 9 goals in 97 matches over the four seasons between 1915-16 and 1918-19.
After the War, Waterall remained at Stockport County, continuing to switch between left and right half and the inside forward berths and developing a reputation for his versatility. In September 1920, playing centre forward, he scored a hat-trick in a 6-0 win over Clapton Orient, although they were relegated at the end of a season, but he helped them bounce back immediately as they won the Third Division (North) Championship in 1922-23, The following season Waterall had the most employed season of his career, missing only two matches as Stockport struggled to avoid relegation, finishing twentieth in the Second Division.
Waterall became their club captain and their longest serving player, and eventually left the club in 1926 after they again suffered relegation, Waterall having lost his regular place in their starting eleven playing only 16 matches in his final season, having scored 36 goals in exactly 300 appearances for Stockport County over his thirteen years with The Hatters. He had brief spells with Third Division (South) club Queen’s Park Rangers from the summer of 1926 but made only two appearances in September that year before joining Second Division side Clapton Orient, for whom he made two more appearances in October, scoring on his debut in a 2-2 draw with Nottingham Forest. He then joined Midland League club Grantham in late 1926, with whom he saw out his career until his eventual retirement.
His two older brothers were also successful professional footballers, his eldest brother Tommy played for Notts County, Bradford Park Avenue, Mansfield Town, Leicester Fosse, Watford and Gillingham. His other brother Isaac (“Ike”) played for Notts County, Doncaster Rovers, Rotherham County, Rotherham Town and Millwall.
NB the photograph was taken before a match with Birmingham at St Andrews on 3rd September 1913, Stockport went on to lose 3-2. Waterall was a non playing reserve and made his first team debut the following month.