Dipton, County Durham born centre forward John Rumney began his football career with north east clubs Annfield Plain in 1920, Leadgate Park in 1921 and Preston Colliery in 1922, from where he joined Second Division Hull City, making his Football League debut against Bradford City in January 1923, his only appearance of the season. In August 1923 he was given the centre forward’s jersey and scored 4 times in a 12 game burst before losing his place in November, and in the summer of 1924 he moved to Chesterfield. He had a single season at Saltergate, scoring 4 times in 11 appearances, before moving to Wales in the 1925 close season to join Merthyr Town.
At Merthyr he proved a dramatic success, top scoring for the club with 24 goals in 38 appearances during 1925-26, a haul that included a hat-trick in a 4-1 success over Watford at the end of October 1925. He was then sold to Bristol Rovers at the end of the season, however his career stalled at Eastville and he scored only twice in 8 appearances, both goals coming on his debut ironically at Merthyr Town in a 3-2 defeat in August 1926, before returning to north east non league football with Consett in 1927.