Tollcross, Glasgow born right half Jimmy Nichol began his football career with Vale of Clyde in the early 1920’s and played for Glasgow Perthshire, from where he was signed by Third Division (South) club Gillingham in May 1925, making his Football League debut at Norwich City that October. Nichol immediately established himself as a first team regular at Priestfield and missed only one match of their 1926-27 campaign. He had played in the first 12 matches of their 1927-28 campaign when he was signed by First Division club Portsmouth after 2 goals in 89 appearances for The Gills.
At Portsmouth he proved a model of consistency. Having established himself in their first team from January 1928, he didn’t miss more than three matches in any season until 1935-36 and was an ever present in 1933-34. In that time he helped Portsmouth to reach the 1929 and 1934 FA Cup Finals at Wembley, but on each occasion they lost, in the 1929 Final 2-0 to Bolton Wanderers and in 1934 to two late Fred Tilson goals for Manchester City. He missed only two matches as Pompey finished fourth in the League Championship in 1930-31, and continued as a regular in the first eleven until November 1936, when he lost his place and made just one further appearance for Portsmouth thereafter.
Nichol returned to Gillingham in 1937 after 10 goals in 383 appearances for Portsmouth, and he played a further 9 matches for Gillingham in their 1937-38 campaign before joining non league club Bognor Regis Town in 1938, his final club before his eventual retirement.