Osborne made his international debut on 27 March 1871 at Edinburgh in the Scotland vs England match, the first international. He was one of four players from the Manchester Football Club. It was reported that in this match Osborne made an extraordinary charge at Finlay of Scotland.
Osborne. Finlay had got well away with the ball, and was sprinting towards the English goal, when Osborne, "folding his arms across his chest, ran full tilt at him, after the fashion of a bull charging a gate. Both were very big, heavy men, and the crash of the collision was tremendous, each reeling some yards, and finally falling on his back. For a few seconds players and spectators alike held their breath, fearing terrible results, but the two giants promptly resumed their places, apparently none the worse."
Osborne became the 1st Captain of the Rochdale Hornets Club who formed in August 1871. Rochdale Hornets would later be one of the founding members of the Northern Union which would become the Rugby Football League.