He joined Partick Thistle from school in 1947 and turned professional two years later aged 17. He remained there until September 1959 joining Southern League team Headington United, which changed their name to Oxford United the following summer. He returned to Partick in December 1960 but did not make any more first team appearances before joining East Stirlingshire the following summer, but retired after one season.
He won his only cap for Scotland in their final preparation match for the 1954 FIFA World Cup Finals against Finland. Although named in Scotland's 22 man squad for Switzerland, Scotland decided to take only 13 of the 22 to the finals. Mathers stayed at home on reserve with the likes of Bobby Combe and Jimmy Binning. Inside forward George Hamilton was also on reserve but travelled after Bobby Johnstone withdrew through injury. Mathers also represented the Scottish League.
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