Lemington, Newcastle born centre half Jimmy Armstrong began his football career with Easington Colliery Welfare, joining Second Division Clapton Orient in November 1926 and making his Football League debut at Nottingham Forest in March 1927, making one further appearance the next month. However he didn’t play at all in Orient’s first team the following season and left Millfields Road to join Queen’s Park Rangers in May 1928.
Initially a fringe player making only one first team appearance at Exeter City in November 1928 during his first season at Loftus Road, he broke into the team in February 1930, helping The R’s to finish third in the Third Division (South) that season, and he missed only two matches in 1931-32 before being given a free transfer at the end of 1932-33, having scored 5 goals in 133 appearances for QPR.
He joined Watford in May 1933 and again proved a consistent performer, missing only one match in the final two seasons before the outbreak of the Second World War in September 1939 as Watford finished fourth in the Third Division (South) in each of the final three seasons before the War forced peacetime football’s abandonment. By then he had scored twice in 219 appearances for Watford, and he went on to play 42 matches for The Hornets in wartime competition before retiring in 1941.
His younger brother Dick Armstrong played for Bristol City and Nottingham Forest, and made a wartime guest appearance for Watford.