James McCann played three seasons with the reborn West Adelaide when that club was readmitted to the South Australian Football Association in 1897 after a ten-year absence. He kicked five goals in 25 games, which was a fair result as the new club struggled against the might of Norwood, South Adelaide and Port Adelaide.
Working as a barman at the Britannia Hotel, he switched to Norwood in 1900 under the provisions of newly introduced electorate football and played two seasons as a ruckman who was often named high in the best players.
His last match at Norwood Oval ended in controversy when the home team was denied a behind as the bell rang, giving his old side West Adelaide a one-point win - its first ever over Norwood.
In 1902 he transferred to South Adelaide and the following year moved to Western Australia, where he played with South Fremantle.
A dedicated trade unionist, James was present when South Australian Premier (and South Adelaide football legend) Charles Cameron Kingston laid the foundation stone of the old Trades Hall in Grote Street, Adelaide, in 1895.
James was a member of the Builders' Labourers' Union and served as its state secretary in WA from 1923 to 1931.
P Robins April 2017