Pearson was born in West Bromwich. He turned professional with West Bromwich Albion in April 1886 and made his debut in February 1887 against Notts County in the sixth round of the FA Cup. He became the first player to score a league hat-trick for Albion when he scored four goals in the club's 6–3 win against Bolton Wanderers on 4 November 1889. In a friendly match at home against Aston Villa on 11 January 1892, Pearson took Albion's first ever penalty kick, but failed to score when he struck the ball over the crossbar. He was Albion's top league scorer during their first five seasons in the Football League, including two seasons tied with Billy Bassett for the honour. Pearson retired in May 1894 due to a serious leg injury. He died in West Bromwich in 1918.