Dundee born inside right John “Jock” Anderson began his football career with Stobswell, from where he was signed by First Division club Portsmouth in January 1933, making his Football League debut at Wolverhampton Wanderers in February 1934, scoring in a 1-1 draw. He made two further appearances before the season end, at Aston Villa and at Everton, both matches also ending 1-1, before coming into the team on a more regular basis from November 1934, but he remained on the fringes at Fratton Park.
He had further runs in the first team from February 1936, scoring a hat-trick that month in a 4-2 win at Stoke City, and was a regular from November 1938 to the abandonment of peacetime football after the outbreak of the Second World War in September 1939. The highlight of his career was scoring one of the goals for Portsmouth in their 4-1 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers in the 1939 FA Cup Final.
After the conflict was resolved he returned to Fratton Park and played twice more in Portsmouth’s January 1946 two leg FA Cup defeat to Birmingham City in January 1946, before joining Aldershot in June 1946. He scored once in 4 appearances in the late summer of 1946 before losing his place, and he joined non league Newport on the Isle of Wight in 1947 before his eventual retirement.