Ballymoney, County Antrim born inside left Jimmy Hopkins left Ireland to join Arsenal in 1919 when Belfast United were not included in the Irish League after the First World War. He made limited impact on the first eleven, not making his Football League debut until March 1921 at West Bromwich Albion, Hopkins scored in a 4-3 victory but he remained a fringe player during his time at Highbury, albeit he did attain an admirable goalscoring rate of a goal every three games with 7 goals in 22 appearances over 3 campaigns.
Hopkins left Arsenal in February 1923 to join Brighton & Hove Albion, where he was to become established at inside-left for six seasons, scoring 75 goals in 233 games on the south coast to continue with a goalscoring ratio almost identical to that which he’d had at Arsenal. It was also while at Brighton that Hopkins won his only international cap, standing in for Billy Gillespie in a 0-0 draw with England at Windsor Park, Belfast in October 1925. In 1929 he left to go to Southern League Aldershot, but had already finished his football career by the time they joined The Football League in 1932.