McPherson was born in Barrow-in-Furness. He joined Barrow in the 1920–21 season and helped the team to win the Lancashire Combination title that season. In the next season, the team joined the new Third Division North.
The season after that, he signed for Manchester United in 1922 and spent six years there, until 1928. In the 1922–23 season, he was a reserve, but was a regular first-team player in 1923–24 as an outside left. He helped United get promoted to the First Division for the 1925–26 season. In that season, he was changed to a centre forward. In his United career, he scored 52 goals in 175 appearances for the club.
He died a sudden death on 5 March 1953.
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