Norwich born centre forward Jack Ranson began his senior football career on the books of Norwich City in 1928-29 but never made their first eleven, and joined Second Division Swansea Town. He made his Football League debut for The Swans at Reading in January 1931, and played once more before the end of the season before joining Chester in the 1931 close season for their inaugural season as a League club, scoring their first ever League goal in a 4-0 win over Wigan Borough in their maiden League fixture. He scored twice in 9 appearances that autumn for the Sealand Road club but joined non league Colwyn Bay United later in 1931 before returning to Football League action with Gateshead in the summer of 1932.
At Gateshead he enjoyed the most productive season of his career, scoring 24 goals in 36 appearances and easily topping the club goalscoring charts. He then joined Second Division Millwall, but couldn’t prevent their relegation, scoring only 3 goals in 14 appearances during his season at The Den. After a spell at Burton Town in 1934 he joined Carlisle United and scored 10 goals in 19 appearances for The Cumbrians over the winter and spring of 1934-35. He joined Lincoln City in the summer of 1935 but played only 8 times, scoring once, before moving to non league Blyth Spartans in 1936.
In the same year he played for both Spennymoor United and Durham City, and joined Horden Colliery Welfare in 1938 before returning to Durham City in 1939, where he finished his playing career.