The cousin of Blackburn Rovers, Aston Villa and England winger Arthur Cunliffe, Blackrod, Bolton born inside forward Jimmy “Nat” Cunliffe initially played junior football for Haslingden before joining Adlington in 1929 from where he signed for First Division Everton in May 1930, making his Football League debut at Aston Villa in March 1933, scoring in a 2-1 defeat. Between 1933 and 1939 he made 187 appearances scoring 76 goals for The Toffees including 23 goals in 1935-36 which included two 4 goal sprees in wins over Stoke City and West Bromwich Albion in a season when he outscored even the legendary “Dixie” Dean.
Cunliffe also finally earned one cap for the England in May 1936 after 4 squad inclusions as a non playing reserve when he played in a 3-2 defeat to Belgium in Brussels. He scored his final hat-trick against Derby County on Christmas Day 1936 but lost his regular place in the Everton team in 1938 making his final appearance for The Toffees in April 1939. He lost much of his career to the Second World War and stayed at Everton until September 1946 before joining Rochdale, for whom he made 2 appearances in September 1946 before retirement.