Burton-on-Trent born centre forward Jack Smith began his football career with junior club Wirksworth in 1908 joining hometown ex Football League club Burton United a year later. In 1910 he signed for First Division Manchester City making his Football League debut that December at Bristol City, scoring in a 2-1 defeat. In two seasons at Hyde Road he scored 7 goals in 20 appearances but joined non league Mansfield Mechanics in 1912, also playing the same year for Chesterfield Town. In 1913 he played for both Rotherham County and Hartlepools United before moving to Scotland to join Scottish League club Third Lanark.
After the First World War he signed for newly elected Third Division club Queen’s Park Rangers, playing in their inaugural League fixture against Watford in August 1920. He top scored for Rangers with 19 goals that season, and in two seasons at Loftus Road scored 30 goals in 79 appearances before a move to Swansea Town in the 1922 close season. He top scored for Swansea with 21 goals in his first season at The Vetch Field netting 35 goals in 72 appearances before joining Brighton & Hove Albion in the summer of 1924. He scored 4 goals in 14 games for The Seagulls before returning to Burton with non league Burton Town in 1925, playing for Burton Wednesday in 1926.