Newcastle born centre half Jimmy Forbes started his professional career in 1920 with North Eastern League Carlisle United having signed for them from local club Walker Celtic, whom he’d joined after the First World War. He joined Third Division (North) club Lincoln City in 1921 making his Football League debut that October at Barrow, but played only 16 times for The Imps before moving to non league Leadgate Park in 1922, from where he joined Midland League Scunthorpe United in 1923.
Forbes returned to Football League action with Second Division Blackpool in 1923, playing 20 times for The Seasiders in their 1923-24 campaign, before a move to Southport in June 1924 where he scored twice in 15 matches in the latter part of the year before First Division Bolton Wanderers moved for his signature that December. He made his First Division debut in a win over Cardiff City in February but played only twice more for Bolton in early 1926 before he was released that summer to join Bristol Rovers.
He was a regular during his two seasons at Eastville he scored 5 goals in 65 games, before joining North Eastern League Workington in 1928. He also subsequently played for North Shields from 1929 and Wallsend Town from 1930 before his eventual retirement.