Bridgeton, Lanarkshire born winger Jimmy Tonner began his football career with Bungalow City of Rosyth in 1913, playing for Inverkeithing United in 1914 and Dunfermline Juniors in 1915 before joining Scottish League Dunfermline Athletic in 1916. He moved to East Fife in 1917 and to Linlithgow Rose a year later, before moving south after the end of the First World War to join his brothers Sam and Jack at Second Division Clapton Orient.
He made his Football League debut against Nottingham Forest in December 1919, a match featuring all three Tonner brothers in the line up (something possibly only done once previously by the Steel brothers at Tottenham Hotspur), but after 13 appearances he returned to Scotland in the 1920 close season to join Lochgelly United. In 1922 he joined Bo’Ness, from where he returned to Football League action joining First Division Burnley in the 1924 close season. Having got his place in the first eleven in October 1924, he was a regular that season, scoring twice in 27 appearances. But having lost his place in September 1925, he returned to the team in the Spring of 1926, making in total only 10 further appearances for The Clarets before joining Hamilton Academical later in 1926. After 3 years with The Accies he went to play in the United States before returning to join Portsmouth in 1932, spending 1932-33 on their books without making a first team appearance.
Jimmy was the middle of the 3 Tonner brothers, Sam being the eldest and Jack the youngest. All 3 played for Dunfermline but Sam and Jack spent most of their careers with Clapton Orient.