Born on 8 November 1835 in Ruddington, John Smith played for the XXII Colts v Notts in April 1862 and in April and September 1863. He made his First-Class debut versus Kent at Crystal Palace in July 1864, scoring 27 and 1 and bowling 1-21. He appeared the following week in his second and last First-Class game versus Surrey at Trent Bridge, scoring 0 and 2 and not bowling. He appeared in the XI v XXII Colts in April 1865, scoring 27 and being awarded the batting prize.
He appeared for the following teams: Bradford (1861-66), Bantry (1862), Newcastle upon Tyne (1863), All England Eleven (1864), Rochdale (1863-65 and 1871), Players of Lancashire (1866), Mansfield (1866), Prince’s Park, Liverpool (1867-69), Newmarket (1870) and Bowden, Cheshire (1872-77).
John Smith was a tremendously hard-hitting right-hand batsman and a right-arm medium pace round-arm bowler. A useful fieldsman with a long throw, he could keep wicket. He umpired in 34 First-Class games between 1875 and 1882. He generally resided in Ruddington.
Originally a framework knitter, he became - as did so many ex-cricketers - a pub landlord, keeping the Odd Fellows Arms on Alfreton Road, Nottingham and then the Anchor Inn, Kegworth, where he died on 31 January, 1913, aged 77 years. His son Arthur Price Smith (1857-1937) played two First-Class games for Notts in 1883 and latterly played for Lancashire (1886-1894), his career spanning 52 First-Class games. John Smith was married to Ann (nee Price) who was a first cousin of Walter Price (1834-1894) who played in 33 First-Class matches between 1868 and 1882, including five for Notts in 1869 and 1870.