Philpotts began his career with Coventry City in 1972. He played only three games with the first team over two seasons. He went on loan to Southport FC during the 1973-1974 season. In 1974, he transferred to Tranmere Rovers where he became a fixture on the back line. In 1981, he moved to the Carolina Lightnin', which was playing its first season of existence, of the American Soccer League. He was back in England with Tranmere in 1983. He ended his career with two games during the 1984-1985 season.