Glasgow born centre or wing half James McIntosh began his football career initially as a left back with Wellwood Juveniles in 1901 and Petershill in 1902, having an unsuccessful trial with Southern League Reading the same year. He joined Glasgow Perthshire in 1904 from where he signed for Scottish League Third Lanark in February 1907. He joined Aberdeen in May 1907 and gained a fine reputation at centre half, scoring once in 69 appearances for The Dons before joining Celtic in May 1909. His debut with the Bhoys came in a 2-1 League defeat at Morton on 11th September 1909, only one of two defeats he suffered in 11 appearances. Unable to force his way in to the Celtic side in his favoured centre half position, McIntosh was used mostly as a full back whenever he was selected for first team action. He was mostly a reserve for his duration at Celtic.
In May 1910 he signed for Second Division Hull City for £1,000, making his Football League debut against West Bromwich Albion that September. He had 4 seasons at Anlaby Road, scoring twice in 96 appearances, before the outbreak of the First World War saw him join The Scots Guards, with whom he’d previously seen service in 1902. In between his service he had a spell with Heart of Midlothian making 23 appearances between October 1916 and April 1918, and also with Hibernian. He finally joined Dumbarton in March 1919, playing 5 times for them before the end of the season before his retirement.