James Daniel Ross (28 March 1866 – 12 June 1902), nicknamed the "Little Demon", was a Scottish footballer of the Victorian era, younger brother of Nick Ross. Born in Edinburgh, in the beginning of his career he played for Edinburgh's St Bernard's F.C., but he came to prominence as part of the Preston North End team known as "The Invincibles", who won the Football League during its first and second seasons, the first one being a double of the league and the FA Cup.
Jimmy Ross was the second-best scorer during the first league season, with 18 goals in 21 matches, and the best during the second season the second season, with 24 goals in 21 matches. He is said to have scored 250 goals in only 220 appearances for Preston. Among his goals were one that he scored against Wolverhampton Wanderers in the 1889 FA Cup Final, when Preston secured the double.
In 1894 Ross was signed to Liverpool by the club's manager John McKenna for £75. He made his debut for his new club in a Football League Division One match on 13 September 1894 and went on to score 12 times during the season, which ended with Liverpool being relegated. A prolific goalscorer in his time at Liverpool, Jimmy found the Second Division defences more to his liking managing to hit the net 23 times in 25 outings, spearheading the Reds charge back to the top tier.
The following season Liverpool managed to establish themselves in the First division, finishing 5th; he only scored twice in his 21 matches.
After his short spell at Anfield Ross was transferred out signing for Second Division side Burnley in March 1897. There he scored 29 goals in 51 games. Just prior to his arrival, Burnley had been relegated and with Ross's help, gained promotion back to the First Division in the 1898 test matches, that ended with a 0–0 draw against Stoke, a scandal that ended test matches in English league football.
Later that year Ross joined Manchester City, scoring 21 goals in 67 games there. He was forced to retire from football due to ill health after the 1900–01 season. Ross died 12 June 1902, aged 36.
Around the fin de siècle the Football league decided to impose a maximum wage of £4 per week for professional football players. For a full-time player like Ross, able to play for wages of up to £10 a week, this was serious threat to their livelihood. To curb this threat, Ross and other top players of the time formed the Association Footballers' Union.
As a player:Liverpool FC (1894–1897): 85 appearances, 40 goals — Football League Second Division winner's medal (1896).