Kilmarnock born centre forward James “Bud” Maxwell joined Kilmarnock in 1930 from schoolboy football and was described in 1935 as “one of the most popular players who ever turned out for Kilmarnock… a daring centre forward with fine ball control and shooting power”. Such was his success with the Ayrshire club that he soon came to the attention of First Division Preston North End, who signed him in the 1934 close season, with Maxwell making his Football League debut against Grimsby Town the same August. He scored 2 hat-tricks against Huddersfield Town and Stoke City in his debut season as he finished by a distance Preston’s leading scorer with 26 goals, remaining top scorer with 19 goals in 1935-36. He also scored hat-tricks against West Bromwich Albion in December 1936 and Liverpool in September 1937.
His Preston career started to stall from December 1936 as he increasingly suffered knee injuries and he only played in one Cup tie in Preston’s 1937 and 1938 Cup runs that saw them first finalists and then Cup winners. That Cup tie was however the 1938 FA Cup Final itself, won courtesy of a George Mutch penalty. He only managed 2 more appearances in 1938-39 and joined Barnsley in the summer of 1939 where he bagged 4 goals in 3 games before peacetime football was suspended due to the advent of the Second World War in September 1939, scoring a hat-trick on his debut against Nottingham Forest. After the War he re-joined Kilmarnock in 1945 and then returned to England to play for Shrewsbury Town in 1946 before retirement. He is currently 5th in the all time Kilmarnock goalscoring list with 121 goals across his two spells at the club.