Born in Bridge of Weir, Renfrewshire, left half Jimmy McCrae signed professional forms with Clyde in 1912, but his playing career was interrupted by the First World War. During the War, McCrae joined The Grenadier Guards, playing for their football team, as well as guesting for Clyde, Rangers where he played 3 matches for their first eleven, and for West Ham United. McCrae joined newly elected Second Division club West Ham United permanently in June 1919, making his Football League debut in their inaugural League fixture, a 1-1 draw with Lincoln City in August 1919.
He was a regular throughout West Ham United’s first Football League season making 54 appearances before joining Bury in November 1920. His three seasons at Gigg Lane saw 11 goals in 89 games before joining Wigan Borough at the beginning of September 1923. He scored 5 goals in 35 games for Wigan as they finished mid table in 1923-24, joining New Brighton in November 1924, where he made little impact, playing only 7 times. Despite this, in August 1925 he moved to First Division Manchester United where he was briefly a First Division colleague of Frank Barson and Frank McPherson at Old Trafford, playing 13 times for The Red Devils in 1926 after initially going on loan to Third Lanark in 1925.
Released at the end of the season, he joined Watford in June 1926, and played his final two Football League matches at the start of the next season, making little impact at Vicarage Road. McCrae later played in Scotland for his first club, Clyde, re-joining them in August 1927, before retiring in 1928, clocking up only 30 appearances (with 3 goals) during his three spells at Clyde.
His younger brother David McCrae scored prolifically for St Mirren and won two Scottish international caps. He later managed the Egyptian National team, taking them to the 1934 World Cup Finals.
NB in the photograph he is pictured on the far right with team mates Jimmy Porter (left) and John Callagher (centre).