Blackburn born winger Arnold Whittaker began his football career with Queen’s Park of Blackburn in 1897, and joined (by then non league) Accrington in 1898, from where he moved to First Division Blackburn Rovers in 1899, making his Football League debut against Preston North End in October 1899, scoring a debut hat-trick in a 3-0 victory. He scored 11 goals in 19 appearances for Rovers that season as they narrowly avoided relegation, finishing as the club’s top scorer. He was an ever present in 1900-01 and was again their leading goalscorer, and he missed one game as Blackburn finished fourth in the League Championship in 1901-02, Whittaker scoring 8 times, when after looking for a while like they might become Champions, a late run of poor form saw them lose 8 of the last 14 games.
In 1905-06 Whittaker was again an ever present, as Blackburn finished 9th, and he remained a regular until January 1908, when he lost his place, making only three further appearances for Rovers before joining Accrington Stanley in the 1908 close season after 57 goals in 265 appearances for Rovers, all of which were in the First Division. After a season at Stanley he returned to Football League action joining First Division Bury, but played only once for The Shakers in an FA Cup tie win over Glossop in January 1910 before retiring later the same year.