Hindley, Northumberland centre forward Jack Wallbanks began his football career with North Eastern League clubs Annfield Plain in 1927 and Crook Town in 1928, from where he joined Second Division club Barnsley in August 1929, making his Football League debut at Bury the same October. Soon establishing himself in the first team, he scored 12 goals in 28 appearances in his debut season, topping the club’s goalscoring charts, and indeed during his four seasons at Oakwell he was the club’s top scorer in every season. Described in 1930 as “a fast dashing forward of the harassing type, Wallbanks can hold the line together cleverly. Has a strong shot, and is quick to seize any opening in the defence”.
However his 22 goals in 1931-32, which included a hat-trick against Notts County, was not enough to prevent Barnsley’s relegation, and despite a further 20 goal haul in the Third Division (North) in 1932-33, with hat-tricks against Mansfield Town and Crewe Alexandra, he couldn’t help them to an immediate return to the Second Division. In July 1933 he was sold to First Division Portsmouth, but he failed to make a single first team appearance for Pompey, whose settled team made it to the 1934 FA Cup Final. Instead he transferred to Chester in March 1934, and was soon back amongst the goals, scoring 12 in just 11 appearances before the season end, including a hat-trick in a win at Crewe Alexandra.
The following season, 1934-35, proved a spectacular one for Wallbanks, he scored 27 goals in 31 appearances including 4 goals against Wrexham and hat-tricks against Carlisle United and Stockport County, persuading Second Division Bradford Park Avenue to step in and sign him at the end of February 1935. But his spell at Park Avenue proved brief and disappointing, he scored twice in 11 appearances before the end of the season before joining Irish League Glenavon in the summer of 1935. He returned to England a year later to join Cheshire League Wigan Athletic in 1936, and he finished his career with them with the advent of the Second World War.