James Crossley from Belfast was a wartime guest player for Exeter City during 1944/45 when, as the situation eased, a number of games were organised to constitute the first football played by the club since 1939. Having played at various times for Cliftonville and Distillery, he appeared once for Reading in the Football League.
James was reported as playing for Exeter City against the Royal Marines and Yeovil in February 1945.
A former player for Cliftonville in the Irish League, he was stationed locally as a Chief Petty Officer in the Royal Navy and went on to appear for Portsmouth in the hastily-arranged interim league competitions during 1945/46. He then made a solitary Football League appearance for Reading when ‘official’ league football resumed in 1946 before, having married a young woman from Portsmouth, continuing to live in Hampshire until emigrating to the United States in 1955. His final football was for Isle of Wight club Sandown in the Hampshire League.
He died in November 2001.