Kirkliston, Lothian born inside right Jim Buchanan began his football career with Bellstone Birds in 1917 and played for Winchburgh Violet in 1918 before joining Bathgate during 1919-20. He had a spell at Broxburn United during 1920-21 and was loaned to Aberdeen for two months in October 1920, before joining Hibernian in April 1921. He made his Hibs debut in a Scottish League match against Partick Thistle the same month and scored 9 goals in 31 appearances in two years at Easter Road before a move to Third Division (South) Bournemouth & Boscombe Athletic in May 1924, making his Football League debut at Millwall that August.
While at Bournemouth he went on loan to Raith Rovers at the start of the 1925-26 season, and scored 10 goals in 75 appearances for The Cherries before joining East Stirlingshire in August 1928, but a month later he returned to Football League action joining Nelson, where he scored 15 goals in 66 appearances before joining non league Clitheroe in May 1930. Having not made their first team after he joined Accrington Stanley in October 1930, he moved to the Irish League with Bray Unknowns in January 1931, and subsequently joined Shamrock Rovers in August 1932. After a return to Scottish football with Leith Athletic in 1934, he finished his career in Ireland joining Bangor in August 1935 before retiring in May 1936.