Jimmie Hay was born at Woodside, a now defunct community near Annbank, Ayrshire on 9th February 1881.
He signed for Celtic for £50 from Ayr FC in March 1903. Described as a strong tackler, Hay captained Celtic between 1906tn_man_jimmyhay and 1911 and made a total of 322 appearances for the club, scoring 23 goals. He was part of the Celtic side which won six consecutive league titles between season 1904/05 and season 1909/10 under the management of Willie Maley.
He left Celtic in 1911 after the club failed to meet his improved contract demands and joined English club Newcastle United. He returned to Scotland in 1915 with Ayr United where he remained for three years.
He was capped 11 times by Scotland between 1905 and 1914 and captained his country on three occasions. Hay also represented the Scottish League XI. Hay was appointed manager of Clydebank in April 1922.
He later became manager at Ayr United in June 1924. The club were relegated from the First Division in his first season as manager. It took Ayr three attempts to regain top flight status, but Hay was not in charge by that time. The Council of the Scottish Football Association (SFA) met on 27th January 1926 to discuss an Jimmy Hay accusations against an Ayr United director, Tom Steen, of bribing referee Tom Dougray for the match on 28th March 1925 against Third Lanark. He stated that he was ‘willing to swear on his life’ that Steen had arranged for fellow director Alex Stirling to offer the referee £5 or £10 to ensure that Ayr United would win.The situation was made worse as Tom Steenwas also Treasurer of the SFA
Hay was banned sine die by the SFA for refusing to apologise for the accusation, not the substance of the accusation, ,but the suspension was lifted in November 1927, by which time he had settled into a career as an insurance agent until his death on 4th April 1940.