Bridgeton, Glasgow born Jimmy Carmichael was a centre forward who started playing before the First World War for his local club Strathclyde in 1912 before moving to Wales to play with Mid Rhondda in 1914. The First World War, during which he served in the Army, interrupted his career but after the War he joined Grimsby Town in July 1920 where he made his Football League debut against Northampton Town that August and initially played centre half before moving to centre forward, where he would become a legendary figure in the club’s history. In the 1921-22 season he plundered 37 goals in as many League games as Grimsby finished third in the League, a tally that included 4 goals a piece against Halifax Town and Barrow, scoring all four Grimsby goals in both games, and was the highest in the Football League that season.
He subsequently scored over 20 goals a season in each of the next three seasons except 1924-25 when he only scored 19, being the club’s top scorer five seasons in a row, and became Grimsby’s club captain. He scored 4 in a 7-4 victory over Ashington in February 1923, and hat-tricks against Lincoln City and Ashington the following season, and against Wigan Borough in 1924-25. His 33 goals in 1925-26, featuring a hat-trick against Accrington Stanley in February 1926 and goals in six consecutive games at the start of the season, helped Grimsby win the Third Division (North) Championship. However already 36 years old, the step up to the Second Division proved a bridge too far and he scored only 4 times in 17 appearances in his final season with the club. He played 244 times for Grimsby between 1920 and January 1927 scoring 142 goals before moving into non league football with Worksop Town in June 1927.