After making 61 appearances and scoring 28 goals for Everton from 1893-1897 forward Hartley joined Liverpool.
He was picked for seven First Division matches during the 1897-98 season. He scored just once, the winning goal in a 2-1 away win at Sheffield United on December 29, 1897. Hartley also figured in five FA cup ties that year, including the day when Liverpool were thrashed 5-1 by Derby County at Anfield in a third round replay, after they had seemingly done the hard part by earning a 1-1 draw in Derby a week before.
Interestingly Hartley had the habit of placing a rolled-up cigarette behind one ear prior to kick-off, somwehow keeping it tucked up there for 45 minutes and then smoking it at half-time!
Hartley died only 37 years of age after collapsing outside the pay office of London and South Western Railway at the Southampton docks.