Having played a small amount of first-team football for Ipswich Town, Northampton Town and Leeds United, Chris O’Donnell appeared in two league games for Exeter City before playing non-league football in the North East of England.
Tynesider Chris started as an apprentice with Ipswich Town in 1984 and, after gaining a full professional contract in June 1985, appeared in 14 league games for the Suffolk club. Having also appeared once on loan for Northampton Town, Chris then signed for Leeds United in July 1989 where he made just one substitute appearance in the Football League.
Chris, by now aged twenty-three, arrived at Exeter City in August 1991 and made his debut in the 3-6 defeat at West Bromwich Albion on 17 August 1991. Retaining his place for the following game against Brentford, Chris didn’t feature in the league thereafter and was released in October 1991 returning to the North East to sign for Gateshead.