Leadgate, County Durham born right half Jimmy McGraham began his football career with North Eastern League club Leadgate Park after the end of the First World War, from where he was signed by Third Division (North) club Lincoln City in May 1922, making his Football League debut at Halifax Town that August, immediately establishing himself as a fixture in The Imps’ first eleven. Having scored once in 26 matches he was transferred to Wigan Borough in February 1923, where he scored once in 34 matches during the following 15 months before being released in the 1924 close season, when he joined Midland League club Boston Town.
McGraham returned to Football League action when he rejoined Lincoln City in October 1925, and he featured in a further 29 matches for The Imps during his second spell at Sincil Bank, scoring once, before joining Midland League club Scarborough in 1927, after which he had a spell in Irish football with Portadown, his final known club before his playing retirement. McGraham then returned to England to scout for Notts County. He next joined the staff of Fylde Rugby Club at Lythan St Annes where he became a qualified trainer, coach and masseur. During the Second World War he became foreman at the Vickers-Armstrong factory in Blackpool but resumed his football career when he returned to Boston as manager of (by now named) Boston United in 1948 after applying for the job after Freddy Tunstall resigned and spending 1948-49 as the club’s manager.