Shetland born right back James Hunter Thomson first came to prominence at Heart of Midlothian, where he made his Scottish League debut against Queen’s Park in September 1902, one of four appearances he made for The Jambos before the year end, scoring once in a match against Partick Thistle. He moved to Leith Athletic from where he made his way to England, joining Southern League Portsmouth in 1906. He made 158 appearances for Pompey over the next 5 years, helping them to finish runners up in the Southern League to Fulham in 1906-07. He joined Coventry City in 1911, making 73 appearances for Coventry over the next two seasons.
His older brother A. Thomson also played once for Portsmouth in 1908-09.