He played as a forward, most frequently at outside right. Manning represented four clubs – Hull City, Bradford Park Avenue, Rotherham County and Queens Park Rangers – during the first season played by each of those clubs in the Football League, and also played league football for Lincoln City. He played non-league football in Boston before joining Hull City, newly elected to the Football League Second Division, in 1905.
Manning then signed for the newly founded Bradford Park Avenue club, who had been accepted into the Southern League for the 1907-1908 season despite being based in Yorkshire.
Bradford joined the Football League the next season, and Manning played 47 league matches over the next two seasons, before returning to non-league football with Rochdale, whom he assisted to the championship of the Lancashire Combination in 1911. He moved on to Lincoln City, who spent the 1911-1912 season playing in the Central League after failing to be re-elected to the Football League.
He remained with the club after their return to the Football League until the First World War put an end to competitive football for the duration. He spent the first post-war season with Rotherham County, for whom he played five matches, all defeats, in the club"s first season in the Football League.
His next port of call was his fourth club making its debut in the Football League, Queens Park Rangers.
His accurate passing with his wing and centre men and the manner in which he made rings round The Arsenal defence were worthy of attention." Called up for first-team duty for the visit to Swansea Town in October, Manning scored Rangers" third goal in a 3–1 victory, and also scored in each of the next two games. Manning died in Boston in March 1946.
He remained a regular member of the first team, and finished the season with five goals from 24 appearances in league and FA Cup, before returning to Boston to play for Boston Town.