Kirkland, Fife born outside right James “Jimmy” Inglis began his senior football career with Scottish League club Airdrieonians, from where he signed for Second Division Small Heath (now Birmingham City) in the summer of 1896. He made his Football League debut against Newcastle United that September, scoring in a 3-1 victory at Muntz Street, the first of 16 goals in a season in which Inglis only missed one of Small Heath’s fixtures, finishing the season as the club’s leading goalscorer.
He spent a further two seasons with Small Heath without the same success, although he scored 6 goals in 6 FA Cup ties in their Cup run in 1898-99, when they eventually lost to First Division club Stoke in a second round replay, Inglis scoring in a 2-1 home defeat. He left Small Heath to join Second Division Luton Town in the summer of 1899 after 30 goals in 63 appearances but his spell at Kenilworth Road was brief, making just 4 first team appearances for The Hatters before the 1899 year end before a return to Scotland with Morton after the New Year. He later joined junior club Sanquhar in 1901 where he finished his career.