Belfast born inside left James Kelly played intermediate league football in Ireland for Willowfield and Bangor in the early 1920’s before joining Barn F.C., a Carrickfergus based club which joined the Irish League in 1923 but which only retained its membership for five seasons before running into financial difficulties.
He was selected 3 times for The Irish League playing in 1923-24 against The Football League and in 1924-25 against The Football League and The Scottish League. He also played against the 1924 South African touring side. Described at the time as “One of the cleverest players in Ireland. Full of tricks but on the small side” it is not known what came of his later career.