Born in Dumfries, left half or inside left Jimmy Blair played for Dumfries Volunteers and played Army football while serving with the 5th King’s Own Highlanders before joining Kilmarnock in 1903. He made his Scottish League debut against Queen’s Park in August 1903, scoring in 2-1 victory, scoring 15 goals in 58 appearances over two seasons for Killie.
He joined First Division Arsenal in May 1905, making his Football League debut against Liverpool that September, scoring in a 3-1 victory, and he also hit the net in his next game at Sheffield United. Never a regular at The Manor Ground however, he made 13 appearances for The Gunners, scoring 3 goals, before joining Manchester City in November 1906.
Blair made 81 appearances scoring once for Manchester City over four seasons at Hyde Road but after their relegation in 1909 he was sidelined and played only twice as they won the Second Division Championship at the first time of asking. Frustrated with the lack of opportunity, Blair left City to join Bradford City in the close season of 1910. At Valley Parade, he made 42 appearances over two seasons for The Bantams but didn’t feature in their 1911 FA Cup Final team, playing in only one of their early cup ties in their historic and victorious triumph.
He joined Stockport County in the summer of 1912 scoring once in 25 appearances during 1912-13. Tragically he committed suicide in March 1913 aged just 28. He had reportedly been despondent over his ill health and at being unable to take part in the Easter matches.