St Helens, Lancashire born outside left Jimmy Lofthouse started with local club St Helens Recreation before joining Stalybridge Celtic in 1912, moving to Southern League club Reading a year later. In May 1913 he was part of the Reading team that beat AC Milan 5-0 during a 10 day Italian tour, with Lofthouse grabbing one of the goals. Lofthouse played both sides of the First World War for The Royals, during which he served as a sergeant in The Royal Berkshire Regiment and The Labour Corps. before joining recently relegated Second Division club Sheffield Wednesday in July 1920, making his Football League debut for The Owls at Barnsley in August 1920.
Lofthouse was an ever present in their 1921-22 campaign and scored 13 goals in 98 games at Wednesday before moving to Rotherham County in March 1923. However he couldn’t save them from relegation as he played 10 times in the season run-in, and in December 1923 he moved to Bristol Rovers after 7 goals in 26 appearances. He stayed two and a half seasons at Eastville, being ever present in 1924-25, netting 17 times in 110 appearances before joining Queen’s Park Rangers in the summer of 1926.
His two years at Loftus Road hardly saw him miss a game, also enjoying easily the most prolific period of his career in terms of goalscoring, and by the time he joined non league Aldershot in the summer of 1928 he had scored 27 goals in 81 appearances, being the club’s second leading goalscorer behind George Goddard both seasons. He subsequently played for The GPO in Reading in 1934 before his eventual retirement.
NB although published in 1921 while at Sheffield Wednesday, this is clearly the same photograph as shown in Image 2 published when Lofthouse was still at Reading in 1919.