Campbell, noted for his strong disposal skills and pace, was best suited as either a centreman or winger. Essendon won Grand Finals in his first two seasons but he was not a member of their premiership sides, finding it hard to break into the team initially. He was a regular from 1925 onwards and in the 1926 Brownlow Medal count finished as Essendon's highest vote getter and equal fifth overall. Campbell, who represented Victoria at the 1927 Melbourne Carnival, was appointed captain-coach of Essendon in 1931 but his stint and VFL career ended in 1933 when they finished with the wooden spoon. He finished his career as Sandringham's captain-coach.