"Mr. Tom Watson, secretary to the Liverpool Club, arranged in Glasgow yesterday for the transfer of Robert Crawford," reported the Manchester Courier on 21 January 1909 and added: "The new man, who is twenty two years of age, can play either right or left back, stands 5 ft. 8 ½in., and weighs 11 st. He has figured with considerable success in Second Division Scottish League matches this season, and should prove an acquisition to Liverpool." Crawford made his debut in a 4-1 home win over Leicester City on 13 February 1909 and played in the following 5-0 defeat against Arsenal. Crawford returned six weeks later against Everton when Liverpool lost 5-0 again, hardly inspiring confidence in the defenders in question. Crawford survived and made four more appearances before the end of that season when Liverpool narrowly escaped relegation. The highest total of games he played in a single campaign was 33 in the 1910/11 season. Left-back Tom Chorlton lost his place in the team following Liverpool's terrible start to that season and Crawford, who had played the first three games as right-back was moved to the left and newcomer Ephraim Longworth became first-choice right-back. He was so described in the Evening Express on 15 October 1910: "Although weighing less than ten stone, Robert Smith Crawford is a capable back, and he makes up for the deficiency in weight by resource and cleverness. A player of the Jock Maconnachie type, great things were expected from this light-weight, but he has not had too many opportunities. He kicks with plenty of power, and can tackle with the best."
Crawford shared left-back duties with Bob Pursell for the next couple of seasons but only played 13 games in the 1913/14 and 1914/15 seasons. As with so many players World War I put a definite end to his career. Crawford was discharged 1919 from the Royal Engineers with War and Victory medals and became a plumber.