South Bank, Middlesbrough born inside left Jack Burton began his football career with Grangetown, from where he signed for Blackburn Rovers, making his Football League debut against Everton in March 1906. He didn’t play again for almost another two years, when he played in two home matches against Sheffield United and Nottingham Forest in January and February 1908, before joining Southern League club West Ham United in the 1908 close season. He made his debut for The Hammers against Queens Park Rangers in September and scored his first goal four days later in a win at Brighton & Hove Albion, but after 3 goals in 19 appearances he left Upton Park to join Second Division Birmingham the following summer.
Burton had to wait until just before New Year for his Birmingham debut in a defeat to Bradford Park Avenue, and scored in each of his next three opportunities in March and early April 1910, but he was unable to establish himself in the first team and Burton dropped back into non-league football with Lancashire Combination club Nelson in October 1910. Burton then joined Cardiff City in 1911, alongside his brother George, top scoring for the club as captain in the 1912-13 season as they finished in first place in the Second Division of the Southern Football League.
He also became the first Cardiff player to score in a South Wales derby against local rivals Swansea Town when he equalised for his side during a 1-1 draw in the first meeting between the two sides in September 1912. In February 1913, he scored a bicycle kick in the second South Wales derby during a Welsh Cup semi-final that saw several of his opponents stop to shake hands with him in appreciation of the goal. After 25 goals in 68 appearances for Cardiff City he joined Southend United in 1914, playing in the final season before the onset of the First World War forced the suspension of peacetime football, during which he made 4 further guest appearances for West Ham United in October and November 1915, scoring twice.
His brother George Burton played for Middlesbrough and Cardiff City before the First World War.