Started his career with his home town club of Barrow, Doug MacFarlane made a name for himself as a regular goal-scorer and his fame earned him a move to Burnley, where he signed as a professional. While at the Lancashire club, he proved versatile as he played in the inside forward position and also was picked in the outside right and half back slots.
MacFarlane proved a useful acquisition for the Turf Moor side and recorded goals for the club in the Second Division on a frequent basis. This attracted Tottenham, who were just entering the Football League and signed Doug in June 1908, with his debut coming in the club's first League match. He scored two goals that season and was a member of the travelling party who went to Argentina and Uruguay in June 1909.
Featured in the Second Division campaign of 1909-10 and when not in the first team was a regular scorer in the South Eastern League matches for the reserves. However, at the end of that season, Doug returned to Barrow and helped them out of Division 2 of the Lancashire Combination at the first attempt.
Doug MacFarlane died in Barrow in Furness on 22nd April 1965.