|Date of birth||14 April 1975|
|Place of birth||Ndola, Zambia|
|Height||5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)|
|1999||→ Blackpool (loan)||7||(0)|
|2000||→ Norwich City (loan)||8||(1)|
|2000–2001||→ Swindon Town (loan)||2||(0)|
|2001||→ Northampton Town (loan)||13||(0)|
|1999||Northern Ireland B||1||(0)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
Born in Ndola, Zambia to a Zambian mother and Northern Irish father, Whitley originally wished to become a golfer. At the age of 11 he moved to Wrexham.He attended Ysgol Bryn Alyn . While at the school he became friends with future Wales international Robbie Savage who helped encourage his interest in football. At the age of 15, Whitley signed for Manchester City and, after completing his GCSE's in Wales, he attended Loreto college in Manchester to take A-level's in art and sports studies.
Whitley began his career at Manchester City, signing his first professional contract at the age of 18 in 1993. He made his debut for the first team on 3 January 1998 in a 2–0 win over Bradford City in the FA Cup at the age of 22. His first league appearance came the following week in a 3–0 win against Portsmouth and he went on to make 21 appearances in all competitions before being voted the clubs young player of the year. He remained a regular in the side until January 1999 when he fell out of favour, appearing just once in the final four months of the season.
At the start of the 1999–2000 season, Whitley joined Blackpool on loan to play first team football, playing 8 times for the side before returning to Manchester City where his only appearance during the remainder of the season came in a 1–1 draw with Huddersfield Town on 18 February 2000. The match would later turn out to be his final appearance for Manchester City and, after spending the whole 2000–01 season away from the club with loan spells at Norwich City, Swindon Town and Northampton Town, he joined Wrexham on a free transfer.
He became a first team regular at the Welsh side, but suffered a serious knee injury in February 2005 which kept him out for nine months. Whitley returned to the side to make 10 appearances during the 2005–06 season, but the knee injury quickly resurfaced and at the end of the season Wrexham decided not to offer Whitley an extension to his contract after undergoing three knee operations and making just 24 appearances in his final two years at the side.
Along with his brother Jeff, Whitley chose to represent Northern Ireland, qualifying through his father. He made his debut on 3 June 1998 in a 4–1 defeat against Spain and went on to win his second cap three months later in a 3–0 defeat to Turkey. Whitley made his third and final appearance for Northern Ireland two years later as a substitute in a 4–1 loss to Finland.
Following his retirement, Whitley instead began performing as a singer and dancer in stage shows, appearing in productions called Christmas Crooners and The Rat Pack's Back, taking the roles of Nat King Cole and Sammy Davis, Jr. in the respective shows.
- "What happened next? – Jim Whitley" fourfourtwo.com Retrieved on 20 March 2009
- "About Jim" jimwhitley.com Retrieved on 20 March 2009
- "Jim Whitley" mcivta.com Retrieved on 20 March 2009
- "Smith bolsters Dragons defence" BBC Sport Retrieved on 20 March 2009
- "Whitley makes return for Dragons" BBC Sport Retrieved on 20 March 2009
- "Whitley resigned to Wrexham exit" BBC Sport Retrieved on 20 March 2009
- "Northern Ireland international results 1990–1999" rsssf.com Retrieved on 20 March 2009
- "When football's final whistle blows" BBC Sport Retrieved on 20 March 2009
- "Now he's Whitley Houston" thesun.co.uk Retrieved on 20 March 2009
- "Footballer's art for stadium show" BBC News Retrieved on 20 March 2009