Whiteinch, Glasgow born inside forward Jimmy Blair was the son of Cardiff City and Scottish international player Jimmy Blair, Sr. and brother of Doug Blair, who also played for Cardiff City after the Second World War. Blair began his professional career with Cardiff City in 1934, but after failing to break into The Bluebirds’ first team, he was transferred to Joe Smith’s Blackpool in June 1935. He made his Football League debut for the Tangerines in the third league game of the 1937-38 season, in a single-goal victory over Everton at Bloomfield Road on 4th September 1937. His strike partner, Bobby Finan, scored the goal. Blair went on to make a further twenty appearances in the League that campaign, scoring four goals in the process. In 1938-39, Blair managed just four League appearances as Joe Smith tried out several partners for Bobby Finan. The outbreak of the War in September 1939 then cost him six years of his playing career.
In the first full peacetime season after the War, 1946-47, Blair made 25 League appearances and scored four goals as Blackpool achieved a fifth placed finish in the First Division. One of his goals gave Blackpool both points against Chelsea at Bloomfield Road on 2nd November 1946, while another helped them to a 3-2 victory over Liverpool, also at home, at the end of the month. Blair won a single cap for Scotland in a 3-1 defeat to Wales at The Racecourse Ground, Wrexham on 19th October 1946. Blair had previously played for the Wales Schoolboy international team. Blair’s final appearance for Blackpool occurred on 12th April 1947, in a 2-0 loss at home to Stoke City. It was his 59th appearance for the club, for whom he scored 9 goals.
Blair joined Bournemouth & Bomscombe Athletic in October 1947, and in two years with The Cherries he made 84 appearances and scored 9 goals. In December 1949, Blair joined Leyton Orient, with whom he made 108 appearances and scored 26 goals over the following four seasons before leaving League football. Blair’s final three clubs were all non league Kent based clubs, namely Ramsgate Athletic in 1953, Canterbury City in 1954 and Sheppey United in 1955 before his eventual retirement.