He was recruited from Dandenong in 1963 only after having gone to the Supreme Court and had writs issued because Dandenong had refused to clear him. 
Waters was a versatile player who was originally used as a ruck/forward before moving into defense later on in his career. He was known as a great mark of the ball in dry or wet conditions. He won the Copeland Trophy in 1966, was their leading goalkicker in 1963 and 1964, and earned All Australian selection for his performance in the 1969 Adelaide Carnival. Waters attended De La Salle College Malvern.
Waters was appointed captain of Collingwood in 1970. In 1971 after suffering a series of injuries that caused him to miss seven games then he struggled with his form, he resigned the position mid way through the season.  Waters resigned because he reasoned that the responsibility associated with the captaincy had affected his form.