The son of Celtic and Scotland’s Jimmy McMenemy and the brother of Newcastle United’s Harry McMenemy. Glasgow born inside right John McMenemy was signed by Celtic in December 1925 from St Roch’s. McMenemy made his competitive debut for the Celtic in a 4-1 League defeat at Falkirk on 6th April 1927. A good passer of the ball he was viewed by some critics as being too slow and deliberate in his play to suit Celtic’s more fast flowing style. He was a solid if unspectacular performer for the Celtic, and with the weight of family history on his shoulders, it was likely no easy burden. The greatest moment was likely the winning of the Scottish Cup in 1927, his father would have been proud having won six Scottish Cups himself, so a lucky seven now in total in the family. However he only made a total of 16 League & Scottish Cup appearances for the Bhoys and scored twice.
He left Parkhead in October 1928 to join Motherwell where he became a regular fixture and gained a sole Scotland international cap in a 3-2 defeat against Wales on 4th Oct 1933. His brother Harry McMenemy was actually chosen to play in this match, but had to pull out through injury, and John took his place. Harry was never to be capped for Scotland. Success met him in a golden period for Motherwell, winning the Scottish League title in 1931-32, although he also appeared in the Scottish Cup Finals of 1931 and in 1933, losing both to his old club Celtic. He later played for Partick Thistle, joining them in 1936, and St Mirren, whom he joined in January 1938, scoring twice in 11 appearances before his retirement in May 1939.