Slamannan, Stirlinghshire born centre forward Jimmy Smith started his football career with local professional club East Stirlingshire before being signed by Glasgow Rangers in 1928. He made his Rangers debut against Hamilton Academical in March 1929. He only featured twice in his first season at Ibrox and only played once the following season, scoring his first goal in a 3-1 win at Dundee in April 1930. In 1930-31 he scored a remarkable 21 goals in 21 games, including 5 in an 8-0 defeat of Clyde, as Rangers won the League Championship for the fifth season running.
After Rangers missed out on their sixth successive League title in 1931-32, during which Smith had scored 5 goals in 8 games, the Championship returned to Ibrox the following season and Smith finished top scorer with 34 goals, including 4 hat-tricks. In season 1933-34, Smith and striking partner Bob McPhail, notched up 72 goals between them in 47 games as Rangers continued their dominance of Scottish football. Smith also collected his first Scottish Cup medal, scoring in a 5-0 defeat of St Mirren in the Final at Hampden Park.
Success for Smith and Rangers continued. The League title was again won in 1934-35 with Smith scoring 43 goals in 38 matches, including 6 in a 7-1 defeat of Dunfermline Athletic. He also collected his second Scottish Cup medal, scoring twice in the 2-1 against Hamilton Academical in the Final. Rangers went on to win two of the next four League Championships before World War Two and Smith was Rangers’ top scorer in three of the four, including 31 goals from 38 games in the 1936-37 success.
Smith continued to play for Rangers during the unofficial matches played during the War, scoring over 100 goals for them in unofficial matches, but retired from football upon the return of official domestic football in 1946-47. After he retired he continued as a club trainer then chief scout until 1967.
Despite his incredible goalscoring record (251 goals in 263 appearances), he only ever won 2 caps for Scotland, both against Ireland. He won his first cap on 20th October 1934 in a 2-1 defeat in Belfast and his second cap on 10th November 1937, when Smith scored the equaliser in a 1-1 draw at Pittodrie. He also played for The Scottish League in a wartime match at Bloomfield Road, Blackpool, which The Football League won 3-2 in October 1941.