John William Day was born in Sutton-on-Trent on 16 September 1882 joined the Trent Bridge staff in 1901, having previously played for the Colts XXII, and made his first team debut against Gloucestershire at Bristol in May 1903.
In eight completed First-Class innings that summer, he failed to reach double figures with the bat and bowled only a few overs. Despite this meagre return, he became a regular member of the side over the next three seasons without ever distinguishing himself with either bat or ball. In 61 matches, he made 1,233 runs at an average of 14.01 and only twice scored more than fifty – 88 against Lancashire and 54 v Derbyshire, both in 1904; he took 27 wickets at 35.18 with one five-wicket haul, 5-50 against Sussex. His final First-Class game was for Notts v Leicestershire at Trent Bridge in May 1907.
From 1908 to 1912, Day, a right-hand bat and medium-pave bowler, was professional for Lincoln Lindum and later with Leek in the North Staffordshire League. He stood as an umpire from 1926 to 1930 and coached at the Oratory School and, in 1936, with the Hague CC in Holland. Day also played football, making 62 appearances for Gainsborough Trinity, which at that time was a League club.
John W Day lived at Saxilby in Lincolnshire – he represented Lincolnshire by dint of residential qualification from 1909 to 1927 – where he died on 9 November 1949.