He played college football for the Auburn Tigers football team and gained 1,004 yards rushing in 1942 with an average of 7.6 yards per carry. He was selected by the International News Service as a first-team halfback on the 1942 College Football All-America Team. He was selected by the Steagles with the 17th pick in the 1943 NFL Draft.
However, his professional football career was delayed due to military service during World World War World War II After the war, Gafford played three seasons in the NFL with the Miami Seahawks in 1946 and the Brooklyn Dodgers in the 1946, 1947 and 1948 seasons.
He was the president of a steel plant in Tulsa, Oklahoma, for 28 years. He returned to Alabama in his retirement and died of cancer in 1987 at age 66.