Gateshead born left back Jack O’Donnell played for Felling Colliery in 1922 before joining Darlington, for whom he made his Football League debut against Wolverhampton Wanderers in March 1923, playing 6 times before the season closed. Having already played 29 games in the 1924-25 campaign that saw Darlington win the Third Division (North) Championship he was sold to First Division Everton for £3,000 at the end of January 1925, and soon established himself as the regular first choice left back succeeding Jock McDonald. Between 1927 and 1930 he was a near ever present missing just two games, and he played in every match during Everton’s League Championship winning season of 1927-28. However after their relegation in 1930 he was dropped and sold to Blackpool towards the end of 1930, having scored 10 goals in 198 appearances for The Toffees.
At Blackpool he soon became first choice, however O’Donnell’s move coincided with a time of trouble for the Blackpool defence. By the end of the 1930-31 season, the club had conceded 125 goals, followed by 102. Disciplinary problems followed O’Donnell. It was reported on three occasions that the club had suspended him for various matters. Eventually it was mutually agreed to terminate his contract having played 59 times for The Seasiders. He returned to the north east in the summer of 1932 to join Hartlepools United. He scored twice in 30 appearances during his single season at Victoria Park before joining non league Wigan Athletic in 1933, playing subsequently for Dolphin, Clitheroe and Wardley Colliery Welfare, all in 1934, and then joining West Stanley in 1937 where he finished his career.