James was twice signed for Dundee Hibs. He first arrived in October 1909 from Forfar Athletic. Known for his powerful kicking, he arrived as a half back, expected to slot in beside Jack Hannan in Pat Reilly's burgeoning Hibs side. His first stay lasted only a year, however, and he left at the start of October in 1910 to join Cardiff City, having "had a notion of going south".
In June 1912, he returned to the Hibs for a further season before being released in April the next year.