Middlesbrough born centre half James Gorman began his football career with Middlesbrough junior side St Mary’s, playing for Newpoet Celtic in 1902, South Bank in 1903, Darlington St Augustine’s in 1904 and Northern League club Darlington the same year, from where he signed for Liverpool in the 1905 close season, making his Football League debut against Sheffield United in April 1906, his only appearance of his debut season as Liverpool won the League Championship. As understudy to the legendary Alex Raisbeck, Gorman found opportunities hard to come by, and in three further seasons at Anfield he added a mere 22 appearances, scoring his only goal for The Reds in an FA Cup win over Derby County in January 1908.
In May 1908 Gorman left Anfield and joined newly promoted First Division club Leicester Fosse, but, he was dreadfully unlucky as he was so badly injured on his debut against Manchester City on 3rd October 1908 that he was out for most of a season in which The Fossils were relegated straight back to the Second Division. Gorman never really recovered after this incident and only played two more games for Leicester, his final appearance being in a 12-0 humbling at Nottingham Forest in April 1909, still the club’s record defeat, before joining Hartlepools United in the North Eastern League in 1910. He subsequently played for Stockton in 1911, his last known club before his eventual retirement.