Prior to signing for Accrington Stanley, Lutel James had two attempts at league football. His first try came at a very early stage of his career with Scarborough, where he managed just six appearances, all as a substitute. He then drifted into non-league football at Guisley where his performances soon caught the eye of another club, this time across the Pennines at Hyde United, who gained his signature in 1996.
His next move was again the big step up into league football, but this time it proved far more successful than the previous attempt. He signed for Bury, making his debut against none other than Manchester United in a League Cup tie, and went on to play 78 games for the ‘Shakers’. During his stay at Gigg Lane, Lutel also played international football, turning out for St. Kitts and Nevis in World Cup Qualifying games, earning himself the imaginative nickname “The Yorkshire Rapper” in the West Indies.
With Bury going through a period of financial instability, he was released and John Coleman snapped him up for Stanley. The striker became an instant hit with the supporters, scoring over 20 goals in his first season. In 2002-03, his second term for the reds saw James in inspirational form in a fantastic season for both Stanley and Lutel, especially in the run-in when he scored two goals on three occasions including the all important strikes against Altrincham that clinched the title.
Lutel had a mixed season in 2003-04. Although he again weighed in with his fair share of goals, John Coleman decided to use him as a wide player on numerous occasions. James made no secret of the fact that his preferred position was as a striker and it came as no surprise when he left the club during the 2004-05 season.