Lesmahagow, Lanarkshire born centre half Jim Forrest began his football career with Nethanvale Thistle in 1912 and played for Maryhill Juniors in 1913 before joining Scottish League club Clyde in 1915, initially as a wing half, converting to centre half from 1919. He won representative honours when he was selected to play for The Scottish League in a 1-0 defeat to The Football League at Highbury in March 1921. He remained at Shawfield for nearly a decade before moving to England in the spring of 1924 to join First Division Preston North End, for whom he made his Football League debut at Birmingham in March that year.
Preston narrowly avoided relegation at the end of the season, and Forrest was a regular in their team the following season that suffered relegation in 1925. He remained at Deepdale playing in the Second Division for a further season before joining the exodus to the nascent American Soccer League, where he played for Bethlehem Steel after 53 appearances for The Lilywhites.
He returned to Scotland in 1926 and joined Cowdenbeath, at the time at the height of their powers in the First Division, but soon returned to the American Leagues, where he played for Providence Clamdiggers in 1927 and Providence Gold Bugs in 1928 before his eventual retirement.