James Alfred Blair was born in Glasgow on 6 January, 1918.
A useful inside forward or wing half, he was the son of Scotland international James, and grew up in south Wales and actually played for Wales schoolboys. His football career started as an amateur with Cardiff City, then he joined Blackpool in 1935, staying there throughout the war until 1946. In October 1947 he transferred to Bournemouth, then two years later joined Leyton Orient. When his senior career ended in 1953, he continued