Glenboig, Lanarkshire born left back Jimmy Blair (Senior) came to prominence with Clyde, for whom he signed in 1908 having played for Scottish junior sides Bonnybridge Thistle in 1908 and Glasgow Ashfield in 1909. He helped Clyde to reach two Scottish Cup Finals in 1910, when they lost to Dundee and in 1912 to Celtic, and represented The Scottish League 3 times between October 1911 and October 1912 while playing for The Bully Wee, representing The Scottish League against each of The Irish League, The Football League and The Southern League respectively. First Division Sheffield Wednesday signed him for £2,000 in June 1914, for whom he made his Football League debut that September against Bradford Park Avenue. He played 20 times in the final season before football was suspended by the onset of the First World War in May 1915.
He guested for Clydebank, Alloa Athletic and Glasgow Rangers during the conflict, including scoring 7 goals, all penalties, for Rangers in 91 appearances between August 1916 and May 1919, before returning to Sheffield Wednesday on resumption of peacetime football, having played in 3 unofficial Victory Internationals for Scotland in the spring of 1919.
His full Scottish international debut came in a 3-0 victory against Ireland at Celtic Park in March 1920 and he went on to win 7 further caps through to his final cap against Wales in February 1924. He played a further 41 post war matches for Sheffield Wednesday before Cardiff City signed him for £3,500 in November 1920, and he immediately helped them win promotion to the First Division that season. He also became The Bluebirds’ Club Captain and a mainstay in the side which finished fourth in the League Championship in 1921-22 and runners up in 1923-24. Perhaps the highlight of his 208 games over the next six years for The Bluebirds was his appearance in the 1925 FA Cup Final at Wembley although they lost narrowly to Sheffield United.
In the 1926 close season he moved to Third Division (South) club Bournemouth & Boscombe Athletic where he spent two years before hanging up his boots in 1928, having made 67 appearances for The Cherries. He later spent time in a coaching role at Cardiff City before leaving football.
Two sons, Doug and Jimmy Jr were also successful professional footballers, Doug playing for Cardiff after the Second World War, Jimmy Jr playing for Blackpool, Bournemouth and Scotland both sides of the War.