William Linward was born in Hull in 1877. Linward played for Doncaster Rovers before joining West Ham United in 1901. He was picked for all 30 games that season. He only scored three goals but made plenty of chances for Billy Grassam, George Radcliffe, Fred Corbett and Fergus Hunt.
Linward joined Woolwich Arsenal and made his debut against Burnley on 27th December 1902. For the remainder of the season he established himself as the club's first choice on the left wing. In the 1903-04 season he played alongside Jimmy Ashcroft, Roderick McEachrane, Tommy Briercliffe, Tommy Shanks, Tim Coleman and Percy Sands in helping Woolwich Arsenal win promotion to the First Division.