Bob Hacking was born in 1918 in Blackburn, Lancashire. He served in the Royal Air Force during the Second World War, and played for its football team as well as for Blackburn Rovers (1942–1945) and Luton Town. Bob made his Football League debut for Luton in the Second Division in the first post war season.
He moved on to Brighton & Hove Albion in August 1947 for a £500 fee, and played regularly in the first half of the season before falling out of favour with incoming manager Don Welsh.
In August 1948, Bob returned to his native Lancashire with Southport where he remained for six seasons and played 181 matches in the Third Division North. He finished his playing career in non-league football with Lancaster City.