Hutchison played in the Victorian Football League (VFL) from 1942–1957, spending his career entirely with the Essendon Football Club. He played 290 VFL games and kicked 496 goals. He captained Essendon for seven years, from 1951 to 1957.
Generally considered one of the finest rovers ever to play the game, he was a vital part of the Bombers' premiership sides in 1942, 1946, 1949 and 1950. He was a dual Brownlow Medal winner, claiming the award in 1952 and 1953. He was typically a high finisher in the Brownlow Medal vote count, finishing third in 1948, sixth in 1950, third in 1951 and second in 1955.
In 2002 at a "Champions of Essendon" gala event, Hutchison was voted the fourth greatest Essendon player of all time. The man who was voted Champion, Dick Reynolds famously said "I don't deserve this honour... Bill Hutchison was the best player I've seen."