Newcastle upon Tyne born outside left James Ridley began his football career with Byker East End and played for Willington Athletic in 1906 before signing for hometown First Division club Newcastle United in February 1907, making his Football League debut against Everton the same December. Always on the fringes during his four seasons at St James’ Park despite his electric pace being noted as Newcastle’s quickest player, he scored once in a victory over Bury in November 1908 among five matches in November and March as Newcastle won the League Championship in 1908-09, and he didn’t play in either their 1910 or 1911 FA Cup runs that saw them reach the Final both years.
After scoring twice in 17 appearances for Newcastle United he was transferred to Nottingham Forest in February 1911 during their slide towards relegation at the season end, scoring once in 4 matches for The Reds although all of the matches ended in defeats. He returned to non league football in the north east and played for Wallsend Park Villa, Newcastle City and Ashington in 1911, staying with the latter until 1914 when he joined Hartlepools United. After the interruption of the First World War, Ridley was still fit enough to play for Wallsend, joining them in September 1919, his final known club before his retirement.
NB This photograph is grafted from the 1907-08 Newcastle United team photograph, please see the linked image.