Oswaldtwistle, Lancashire born left half Jackie Bray played for Oswaldtwistle in 1927 before joining Clayton Olympia in 1928 and Manchester Central in 1929, signing for Manchester City in the close season of 1929. He made his Football League debut in the derby against Manchester United in February 1930 and he helped The Citizens to finish third in the First Division in 1929-30. They dropped to eighth place in 1930-31 and then 14th in 1931-32. Though they could only manage a 16th-place finish in the league in 1932-33, Bray was part of the team as City reached the FA Cup Final, losing 3-0 to Everton at Wembley. They then rose up to fifth place in 1933-34, and the same season he was a member of the team that won the 1934 FA Cup with a 2-1 victory over Portsmouth at Wembley.
Bray won his first England cap on 29th September 1934 in a 4-0 win over Wales at Ninian Park. He won further caps in games against Ireland at Windsor Park, Germany at White Hart Lane, Wales at Molineux, and Scotland at Wembley. His final appearance was on 17th April 1937, in a 3-1 defeat to Scotland in front of a crowd of 149,407 at Hampden Park. He also represented The Football League on five occasions.
City finished fourth in 1934-35 and ninth in 1935-36. In 1936-37, Bray was a virtual ever-present as Manchester City w0n the League Championship. In a catastrophic reversal of fortune, the Maine Road outfit then dropped to 21st place in 1937-38, and were relegated into the Second Division. Bray continued to play for City in the Second Division until his career was then interrupted by the suspension of peacetime football due to World War Two. During the War he guested for Blackburn Rovers, Nottingham Forest, Bolton Wanderers, Crewe Alexandra, Birmingham and Port Vale.
After his playing retirement Bray was appointed as Bill Findlay’s successor as manager of Watford in March 1947, as The Hornets finished the 1946-47 season in 16th place in the Third Division (South). The Vicarage Road outfit won only 11 of his 40 games in charge, and Bray departed in January 1948. Bray later became a coach at non-league Lancashire club Nelson.
His younger brother, George, was also a professional footballer and spent his entire career with Burnley.