James Bigden joined Arsenal from West Ham in June 1904 and went on to play in the Club's first-ever FA Cup Semi-Final.The half-back made his League debut in a 3-0 defeat at Newcastle in September 1904 and proved to be something of an unlucky charm in his first season. His first five appearances ended in four defeats and a draw before he finally tasted victory in an Arsenal shirt against Everton on the last day of the campaign.Bigden started the next season on the sidelines but he replaced Percy Sands for the defeat at Nottingham Forest in November 1905 before an injury to John Dick gave Bigden an extended run in the side.
He took his chance, playing 31 games in 1905/06 and starting Arsenal's maiden FA Cup Semi-Final - a 2-0 defeat to Newcastle.Bigden was a fixture in the first team now and missed just one game in 1906/07, scoring his only goal for the Club in a win at Bristol City in October 1906.But injury sidelined Bigden early the following season and, although he returned to play three of the final four fixtures, Andy Ducat's emergence had forced him down the pecking order. Not long after his final appearance against Sheffield Wednesday in April 1908. Bigden joined Bury and later played for Southend.