He began his career by coming through the youth system at Sheffield United before moving to Fulham and then Stockport County. He then moved to South Wales where he signed for Cardiff City in 1996 for £30,000. He spent five years at Cardiff before moving to Newport County. He remained there for three years before leaving to join Merthyr Tydfil. During the 2005 season he re-joined Newport on a short loan deal after the club appealed to any available players who would play for the club due to an injury crisis. He left Merthyr in 2006 and joined Risca as player-manager and at that point in his career Eckhardt had made over 800 appearances in all competitions for his various clubs.