Pinchbeck, Lincolnshire born outside left, inside left or centre forward Maxey Holmes began his football career with Spalding United from where he signed for First Division club Grimsby Town in May 1931, scoring on his Football League debut in a 4-3 win over Blackburn Rovers in March 1932. Although Grimsby suffered relegation at the season end, Holmes bagged 7 goals in 8 matches, including a hat-trick in a 6-5 win over West Bromwich Albion in April, allowing them to win six of those games, albeit not enough to keep them up. Despite this, injuries caused Holmes to be a fringe player for much of his four seasons at Blundell Park, playing 16 matches as The Mariners won the Second Division Championship in 1933-34, again bagging a hat-trick in a 7-0 thrashing of Blackpool in April 1934.
Holmes remained a fringe player on their return to the top flight, making only 4 appearances as Grimsby Town recorded their highest ever finish, fifth in the League Championship in 1934-35, before joining Second Division neighbours Hull City in May 1935 after 17 goals in 39 appearances for Grimsby Town, but he again struggled to establish himself as a first team regular at Anlaby Road, scoring 10 goals in 30 appearances for The Tigers.
He joined Third Division (North) club Mansfield Town in the summer of 1937 but lost his place in January 1938 having scored 5 goals in 19 appearances. He then moved to Lincoln City in August 1938, where he switched to right half in January 1939, scoring once in 22 appearances for The Imps through to his final appearance in August 1939, when his career was effectively ended a week later by the outbreak of the Second World War, which forced the immediate abandonment of peacetime football, and during the War he guested for Grimsby Town.
Holmes was a schoolmaster by profession and may well have played football as an amateur through his career. He was also a notable rugby union player, representing Midland Counties as a three-quarter in the County Championship.