Glasgow born centre half John Blair began his football career with Yoker Athletic and joined Scottish League Motherwell in 1931, playing in eight official seasons for Motherwell before his career like many others would be interrupted by the outbreak of the Second World War. He made his Scottish League debut in the Lanarkshire derby against Airdrieonians on 26th August 1931. He was an key member of the successful Motherwell side of the 1930’s, noted for having tremendous pace and passing skills as well as being a powerful and dominant centre half, and described as “one of the best centre halves in Scotland”, Blair played only four games for the Motherwell team that won the Scottish League Championship in 1931-32 as deputy to Alan Craig, but he took over as Motherwell’s main pivot after his transfer to Chelsea. Blair also played in their Scottish Cup Final defeats of 1933 and 1939, losing firstly to Celtic and secondly to Clyde. By the time the War came he had scored 2 goals in 275 appearances in claret and amber.
He won a single cap for Scotland when he played in a 3-2 defeat to Wales at Ninian Park, Cardiff in October 1933, and also played twice for The Scottish League in two victories over The Irish League, the first a 3-2 win at Firhill in October 1934, the second won 5-2 at Ibrox in September 1936.
During early November 1945 the Clapton Orient programme reported that Blair would be joining the O’s as both a player and coach. He made four wartime appearances for Orient.
His nephew Charlie Cox also played for Motherwell.