Brechin, Angus born centre forward Jim Beattie began his football career with Forfar Academy in 1931 and played for Forfar West End the same year before joining Scottish League St Johnstone in 1932, spending five years at Muirton Park before being sold to First Division Portsmouth in the spring of 1937, making his Football League debut against Grimsby Town at the end of March, scoring in a 2-1 victory at Fratton Park.
His first full season for Pompey was an outstanding personal success, Beattie scoring 22 goals in 38 games including a hat-trick in a 3-3 draw at Leicester City in March 1938. He was comfortably Portsmouth’s leading goalscorer in a season in which they narrowly avoided relegation, finishing 19th in the League. However he failed to make the same impact in 1938-39 and was sold to Second Division Millwall in the 1939 close season after 28 goals in 59 appearances for Pompey. He played all three games for Millwall, scoring once, before the Football League was abandoned due to the outbreak of the Second World War in September 1939, but had retired by the time peacetime football resumed.