Leyland, Lancashire born inside forward Jimmy Bannister started with Leyland Temperance in 1899, joining Leyland in 1900 and Chorley in 1901 before signing for Manchester City in 1902 making his Football League debut against Stockport County that December and scoring 13 times over the rest of the season, including a hat-trick in a 9-0 thrashing of Gainsborough Trinity in February 1903 as City won the Second Division Championship. He had three further seasons at City but was not a regular and joined Manchester United in the summer of 1906 after 22 goals in 47 appearances.
At United he won the League Championship in 1907-08 missing only 2 games that season but missed out on their 1909 FA Cup Final triumph, and joined Preston North End in October 1909 after 8 goals in 63 appearances. At Deepdale he scored a further 12 goals in 68 appearances but after their relegation in 1912 he moved to non league Lancaster Town before a return to Leyland in 1913. In 1914 he joined Darlington and after the First World War he played for both Heywood United and Lancaster Town.