Sparkwood, Birmingham born inside left Jimmy Windridge began his football career with Small Heath Alma in 1898 before joining Second Division Small Heath in the summer of 1902, making his Football League debut against Burslem Port Vale in January 1903, scoring twice in a 5-1 victory. He scored 6 times in 8 appearances as Small Heath were promoted as Second Division runners up, but remained on the fringes of their first team for another two seasons in the First Division.
He became one of the first players to join the newly formed Chelsea Football Club in April 1905, arriving for the sum of £190 and with fellow Small Heath players, Jimmy Robertson and Bob McRoberts, having scored 8 goals in 29 appearances for Small Heath. His impact was immediate, scoring a hat-trick for the club on his home debut against Blackpool, in the first competitive football match ever played at Stamford Bridge, joint top scoring in their inaugural League campaign as they finished third in the Second Division. He also scored a hat-trick at Burton United in a 4-2 win in the season run in in April 1906. He followed this with 16 goals in 1906-07 including a hat-trick against Chesterfield Town in April 1907 as Chelsea won promotion to the top flight at the second time of asking, finishing as Second Division runners up.
He was first called into the England for England’s 3-1 victory over Ireland at The Solitude, Belfast in February 1908 and he scored in each of his next 6 internationals, including England’s goal in their 1-1 draw against Scotland at Hampden Park in April, five goals of which were on England’s summer tour to Austria, Hungary and Bohemia, when he scored in all four matches. His eighth and final cap came in a victory over Ireland at Park Avenue, Bradford, in February 1909.
Chelsea were relegated in 1910 and Windridge became a fringe player, making very few appearances in the Second Division before he was bought by First Division Middlesbrough for a fee exceeding £1,000 in November 1911, after 58 goals in 152 appearances for The Pensioners. He had three seasons at Ayresome Park, helping them finish third in the League Championship in 1913-14 before returning to (now re-named) Birmingham in April 1914, after a dozen goals in 76 appearances at ‘Boro. At Birmingham he equalled a club record by scoring five goals in a League match against Glossop in an 11-1 thrashing in January 1915, adding 11 goals in 32 appearances before the advent of the First World War and the suspension of peacetime football effectively bought an end to his football career although he did guest for the BSA football team during the War.
Windridge also played cricket for Warwickshire, playing 7 first class matches for the county between 1909 and 1913.
His cousin was fellow England international Alex Leake.