Bootle, Lancashire born wing half Jimmy Hughes made Second Division Liverpool sit up and take notice when he won the Prince’s Park League title with Bootle amateur side Hertford Albion, signing for The Reds in June 1904. His junior career had started with Bedford in 1902 and he played for Diamond Match Works and Bootle Amateurs in 1903 before joining Hertford Albion.
Hughes made his Football League debut for Liverpool against Burton United in September 1904, but was essentially a fringe player at Anfield and played only 15 matches for Liverpool over five seasons, never making more than 5 appearances in any single season. Most of his occasional appearances came as a replacement for the regular left and right half pairing of that time, Maurice Parry and James Bradley. Hughes once had the misfortune to break his forearm when playing for Liverpool, but he did not know until after the game that the injury he had sustained was a fracture.
After leaving Liverpool in the 1909 close season Hughes joined Southern League club Crystal Palace where he was somewhat of a stalwart, becoming club captain, playing for them both sides of the First World War, in that time scoring 15 times for Palace in 209 appearances through to 1920. While at Palace he was selected once to represent The Southern League XI. He left Palace in the 1920 close season immediately before they entered The Football League and joined Southern League club Chatham, his last club, and he subsequently retired in 1922.