Little is known about James West, apart from the basic facts, namely that he was the second full-time secretary of Newton Heath (the fore runners to Manchester United). Like most of football at the time, the club did not have a manager, but were run by club secretary.
He most notable 'claim' to fame is he oversaw the collapse and eventual bankruptcy of Newton Heath. That said, without that happening Manchester United would never have been born, and James oversaw the clubs actual re-birth as Manchester United on 28th April 1902. He laster a further year before ceding control to the club's first major boss, Ernest Mangnall