Sheringham, Norfolk born right back James “Joe” Hannah began his football career before the First World War, playing for Sheringham Teachers in 1913 and then played Army football for The Royal Engineers. After the War he joined Sheringham in 1919 before signing for Third Division (South) Norwich City, originally as a centre forward, making his Football League debut, and only appearance of Norwich’s first League season, in a defeat at Newport County in January 1921. He scored on his next appearance, his only match in 1921-22, in a 4-2 defeat at Bristol Rovers in November 1921, and in 1922-23 he managed a dozen first team appearances, mainly at centre forward.
Hannah missed only two matches in 1923-24 playing mainly at right half but also at left half, right back and centre forward, and made the right back berth his own from November 1925, appearing there until his final match of 427 appearances for Norwich, which came at Plymouth Argyle in February 1935, having scored 21 goals for The Canaries.
He was selected for The Football Association tour to Australia in 1925, he also represented The South versus The North at Stamford Bridge in January 1925 and then played for The Rest of England at Maine Road the following month. He was given two benefit matches by Norwich City and remains their fifth highest all time appearance maker. He later coached at non league Bury Town and is a member of the Norwich City Hall of Fame.