Strathaven, Lanarkshire born goalkeeper John “Jock” Archibald started his football career with Albion Rovers in 1914 and joined Southern League club Reading after the end of the First World War in 1919, spending less than a single season at Elm Park before joining First Division Chelsea in January 1920. However he failed to get into the Chelsea first eleven and in 1921 returned to Scotland joining St Bernard’s. In April 1922 he joined Newcastle United and made his Football League debut against Manchester City at the end of that month deputising for Bill Bradley. It was his only Magpies appearance and he didn’t play again until after he joined Grimsby Town in May 1923.
He enjoyed four seasons at Blundell Park winning the Third Division (North) Championship in 1925-26 and playing 121 matches before moving to Darlington in March 1927. He played just over a season at Feethams, making 44 appearances, before a return to Scotland in 1928 re-joining Albion Rovers, playing the same year for Airdrieonians before moving to East Stirlingshire in 1929, where he ended his football career.
He was the younger brother of Bobby Archibald who played for Raith Rovers, Aberdeen, Third Lanark, Rangers and Stoke City among other clubs.