Goldenhill born wing half James Bradley signed for Stoke City aged 16 in 1898 and very soon broke into their first team, being given his Football League debut at Aston Villa in September 1898, and by all reports oozing class from an early age. The Sentinel described him as having an old head on young shoulders with “a fine turn of speed who tackles with excellent judgement”. He made 219 appearances for The Potters scoring 4 goals before being transferred to Liverpool for £420 in September 1905. In his first season at Anfield he won a League Championship medal and over the next 6 years he went on to play 186 times for the Reds, scoring 8 goals. Bradley had an eventful Christmas Day in 1909, regular goalkeeper Sam Hardy’s absence saw Bradley take on the role, Bolton were the opposition and they had a shock as Bradley kept a clean sheet as Liverpool went on to hit the net three times.
Bradley remained a regular member of the Liverpool starting line-up over the next four years missing just 18 matches. Bradley lost his place during the 1910-11 season and left the club at the end of the season joining Reading in the Southern League in the summer of 1911, he remained there for two seasons, before returning to Stoke City in 1913, playing 30 more games before the First World War finished his playing career.
His older brother, Martin played at inside forward for Grimsby Town, Sheffield Wednesday and Bristol Rovers between 1907 and 1914. Martin’s son Jack played at inside forward for various clubs in the 1930’s and 1940’s, including Swindon Town, Southampton and Bolton Wanderers.