Eston, Yorkshire born inside right James “Daisy” Bell began his football career with Grangetown as a 16 year old in 1900, from where he joined First Division Middlesbrough, making his Football League debut at Notts County in October 1904. He scored 3 goals in 11 appearances over the 1904-05 season but having lost his place at the year end, played only once more in an FA Cup first round replay defeat at Tottenham Hotspur in February 1905, losing his place with the arrival of Alf Common from Derby County, who commanded the first £1,000 transfer fee.
He returned to non league football with Eston United later in 1905 before a move to Lancashire Combination club Barrow, scoring 34 goals in 78 games. His contract shows that he was paid £2.10s per week. It was from there that Exeter City obtained his signature, where he was a very prolific goal scorer with 63 goals from 119 appearances. On leaving Exeter at the end of the 1910-11 season, he joined Portsmouth, scoring twice in 4 matches. Bell had a second spell at Barrow between 1911 and 1917, where he featured in 146 games and scored over 70 goals.