Barrhead, Renfrewshire born outside right or centre forward John Quin went to live in Manchester as a child began his football career playing for Xaverian College, Higher Broughton and Cheetham Hill as a youth in the mid 1900’s, before attracting the attention of Manchester City at the age of 17. He signed for the club in November 1907 after scoring against Liverpool in a trial match for the reserve team; however, he refused to sign a new contract at the end of the season and joined Manchester United, for whom he made his Football League debut at Sheffield Wednesday in April 1909, standing in for Jimmy Turnbull in a 2-0 defeat. His only other appearance for the club came on New Year’s Day 1910, playing at outside right in a 2-0 win at Bradford City. Released at the end of the season, he joined Lancashire Combination club Nelson but moved to Chorley before the year end and played for Eccles Borough in 1911.
In the 1912 close season Quin returned to Football League action when he signed for Second Division club Grimsby Town. He had three seasons with The Mariners playing both outside right and centre forward, but his career was then interrupted by the onset of the First World War which forced the suspension of peacetime football in May 1915, by when he had scored 5 goals in 62 appearances.
Quin returned to Scotland signing for Arthurlie in the 1915 close season, but he soon signed for Clyde, playing six years for The Bully Wee before a move to Ayr United in 1921. He had two seasons at Somerset Park before his retirement in 1923.
Quin was the son of John Quin, a noted amateur centre forward who had been a Scotland international trialist.