A football writer once described James Jackson as "Jackson is all grit and determination."
James was a real 100 percent defender who joined Aberdeen in June 1923 for a club record fee of £2,000 pounds from Motherwell. After plying his trade in the homeland of his parents, he signed for Liverpool and gave the Reds eight years quality service.
He established himself in the side towards the end of the decade and only missed two out of 126 First Division games from August 1928 until May 1930 while captaining the side. He had three further seasons at Anfield before leaving soccer to be ordained as a minister in the Presbyterian church in 1933. He started his divinity studies at Aberdeen University and had continued them in Liverpool. Not surprisingly, because of his church connections, he was nicknamed "The Parson".