John Gifford was born in Scotland. He made his mark in Scottish schoolboy soccer and was picked as trialist for the Scottish Schoolboy National Team. He was said to have been connected with Glasgow Celtic in 1944.

The 5’10” and 175 lbs could play in several positions, filling in at fullback and on the forward line. He joined Ulster United when he came to Canada.

He played for Ulster United in the exhibition game against Liverpool Football Club on June 15, 1948. 17,000 soccer fans watched Liverpool win 5-1 at Maple Leaf Stadium in Toronto.

John won the Dominion Championship with Ulster United in the 1951 season.

Ulster United played against English league champions Manchester United in an exhibition game on Thursday night June 12, 1952. The game was played at the University of Detroit Stadium in front of a crowd of 10,000. Manchester United won 4-2, Jock played at left back for the Redhanders.