Church, Lancashire born inside forward James (or Jimmy) Whitehead began his football career with Peel Bank Rovers in 1889 before joining Football League club Accrington in 1890, making his League debut against Everton in September the same year, scoring in a 2-1 home defeat. He had three seasons with Accrington and was an ever present in 1892-93, but his 11 goals were not enough to save Accrington from relegation and he joined Blackburn Rovers in the summer of 1893 after 28 goals in 82 appearances for Accrington.
In his first season at Ewood Park he was part of the Rovers team that lost in the 1894 FA Cup semi final to eventual winners Notts County at Bramall Lane, and he remained a first team regular for three seasons before losing his first team place in September 1896, making only 8 appearances during 1896-97. After 24 goals in 92 appearances for Blackburn he joined Second Division Manchester City in the 1897 close season, and helped them finish third in his first season at Hyde Road. However when they won the Second Division Championship in 1898-99, he made only four more appearances during September, and after 7 goals in 26 appearances he joined non league Accrington Stanley in 1899, where he played until retirement.
NB This image is from October 1895, probably the home game with Preston North End on October 12th which Blackburn won 3-0, with Whitehead scoring the first goal.