J Chapman played for Exeter City in the Plymouth and District League before the club turned professional in 1908. Like several players of the time he was in the army and stationed locally.
A goalkeeper, he made his debut against Tavistock on 16 March 1907 and kept his place for the final six games of the 1906/07 season. Although he didn’t play for the first-team game again, he remained on the club’s books as an amateur - occasionally appearing for the reserves - for several seasons after the club became professional in 1908.
Serving in the army, and based at Topsham barracks, he was what was known as a "battery man". He later served on the Western Front in the Great War where he encountered former Exeter player Fred Bailey who was to be killed at the Somme.