West Bromwich born wing half Jack Banks began his career with local sides Stourbridge in 1890, Oldbury Broadwell in 1891 and Oldbury Town in 1892, before joining First Division West Bromwich Albion in December 1893. He spent seven years with his hometown club making his Football League debut in January 1894 against Blackburn Rovers and scored 6 goals in 133 appearances. He played in the 1895 FA Cup Final when Albion lost 1-0 to Aston Villa at The Crystal Palace. In August 1901 he signed for Newton Heath, who were to change their name to Manchester United the following year, and played 44 games over two seasons with the club, scoring once.
Moving to Home Park in time for Plymouth Argyle’s first season as a professional club in May 1903, Banks became known as an extremely versatile player, primarily playing as a wing half but also filling a variety of positions in the team as required. The Argyle handbook of 1905 describes him as ‘splendid in defence and rarely beaten’. After three years at Home Park which saw 5 goals in 82 appearances, he moved on to Southern League Leyton in July 1906 and also played for Exeter City, joining them as player coach in December 1907, where he was Exeter’s first ever professional player, playing twice for them in Southern League matches in games at Southend United and Brighton & Hove Albion. He scored twice in 17 appearances in all competitions for The Grecians before retiring in 1909 when he became their trainer from the 1909-10 season. He was subsequently a trainer at Barrow from 1912, staying at Houlker Street for the next 26 years to his retirement in 1938.