Born in Frederiksberg, Pauli Jørgensen played all of his club football within the Copenhagen area. His parents moved to Amager, where he began playing youth football for B 1908 in 1916. While playing for B 1908, the young Pauli watched an exhibition match between local Amager players and players from BK Frem, and was very impressed by the play of Frem’s Danish internationals Sophus “Krølben” Nielsen and Sophus Hansen. He moved to the youth team of BK Frem in 1918, where he played alongside later internationals Kaj Uldaler and Knud Christoffersen. Then followed a stint at Amager club BK Fix from 1920 to 1923, while he was studying to become a car mechanic.
Jørgensen found his way back to Frem in 1924. This was to be his only club for the rest of his playing career. Two weeks after his return, Jørgensen made his debut for the senior BK Frem team and scored two goals as Frem beat KFUMs Boldklub 4–2. Frem was a working man’s club which played in the yearly Copenhagen Championships as well as the Copenhagen Cup. Under coach Axel A. Byrval, Pauli established himself in the Frem team which won the 1925 Copenhagen Cup, beating Akademisk Boldklub (AB) 5–1 in the final. Frem also won the Copenhagen Cup in 1927. The winner of the Copenhagen Championship went on to play the best team from the rest of Denmark for the title of Danish champion. In the first years with Pauli in the team, Frem’s best finish was a 3rd place in the 1925–26 Copenhagen Championship. In 1927, a nationwide competition was inaugurated, and Pauli’s footballing skills could now be seen by spectators around the country.
In the ensuing 1927-28 Danish championship, Frem finished in a three-way joint first place, and due to lack of regulations for such an instance, no winner was declared in the end. Pauli had to wait another three years before winning the Danish championship. In the 1930-31 Danish championship, Pauli Jørgensen led Frem to the second Danish championship in club history, as the team ended with 17 points following eight wins and one draw in nine games. The tournament included meriting victories such as 10–3 against three-time Danish champions B 1903 and 3–1 against runners-up Kjøbenhavns Boldklub. With Jørgensen the leading player, Frem won the Danish championship again in the 1932-33 season, this time finishing with 16 points. Jørgensen won his third championship in the closely contested 1935-36 season, as Frem edged ahead of runners-up Akademisk Boldklub (AB) on goal average. Frem and AB both finished on 15 points, Frem having even lost 1-3 to AB during the season, but Frem’s goal tally of 36 goals for and 15 goals against beat AB’s 29 for and 14 against in the end.
Ahead of the 1936-37 season, the number of games was doubled to 18. At the same time, it is the first Danish national tournament for which a top goalscorer is recorded, and this honor fell to Pauli Jørgensen. He topped the scoring table with 19 goals, but had to see Frem finish second, as AB won the championship. During his time at Frem, the club also won the Copenhagen Cup in 1938 and 1940. Pauli Jørgensen won his last Danish championship with Frem as a player in the 1940–41 Danish War Tournament, before ending his playing career in 1942. His last game for the club came under special circumstances, as Frem played B 1909 in the quarterfinals of the 1941–42 Danish War Tournament. The teams drew the game 2–2, and the referee, to Pauli’s great displeasure, decided the winner by a coin toss. By his retirement, Pauli had scored 288 goals in 297 games for Frem between 1924 and 1942.
Pauli Jørgensen made his international debut for the Denmark national football team on September 27, 1925, in a friendly match against the Finland national football team played in Aarhus. The Danish team selection was marked by several Copenhagen clubs having withdrawn their players in order to play club matches on the same day, and Jørgensen was one of five players making their debut. He took advantage of the opportunity given. Denmark were trailing 1-3 by the half-time break, when he scored two goals in the second half for a 3–3 final score.
The Finland game was also the last international game of centre forward Poul “Tist” Nielsen, who held a double record of 38 games played and 52 goals scored for the Danish national team.
On October 30, 1927, Pauli Jørgensen made his breakthrough in the national team, with a goal in the 3–1 win against the Norway national football team.
Pauli was offered a professional contract with English club Huddersfield in 1928, but he eventually rejected the offer, part of the reason being that, like all professional players, he would be banned from representing the amateur-only Danish national team.
From June 1928 to 1934, Jørgensen played all 26 Danish international games in a row, scoring 29 goals. This included securing the 1924–28 Nordic Football Championship title for Denmark on October 7, 1928, when he scored the second Danish goal of the 3–1 victory against the Sweden national football team; the de facto final of the tournament. His importance for Denmark was most evident in the four games of 1930, in which he scored one goal in a 6–1 win against the Finland national football team, three goals in a 6–1 win against Sweden, and another three in the 6–3 win against the Germany national football team, before he was injured and substituted during a game against Norway, which Denmark then lost 0–1.
Pauli Jørgensen was by now the most popular player in Danish footballing history.
In June 1932, he was named team captain, in the absence of regular captain Fritz Tarp. Pauli Jørgensen went on to captain Denmark for 12 games between 1932 and 1937, taking turns with other players to sport the captain’s armband.
He did have a few brushes with the leaders of the Danish Football Association (DBU), who handed Pauli a one-year ban from the national team for “bad behavior” in 1933, only to retract the punishment before the next game.
On May 16, 1937, Jørgensen was captain in the game known as the Battle of Breslau, in which the Danish team lost 0-8 to the Germany national football team. Seven players were subsequently dropped from the Danish team, including Pauli. He played just one international game in 1938, but returned to the team for DBU’s 50-year anniversary tournament in June 1939. Here, he spurred the team on to cope with the strict training regimen of English coach Edward Magner,and Pauli Jørgensen scored three goals as Norway were defeated 6–3 in the tournament final.
Pauli Jørgensen was back in the Danish starting line-up, and on September 17, 1939, he broke Fritz Tarp and Valdemar Laursen’s joint record from 1934, as he became the first Dane to play 45 games for the national team. The game was an 8–1 win against the Finland national football team in the 1937-47 Nordic Football Championship, and Pauli scored a single goal. On October 22, 1939, Pauli Jørgensen played his last game for Denmark, scoring two goals as Norway was beaten 4–1, and setting a record 47 international games played for Denmark. The record stood for 22 years, until Poul Pedersen played his 48th international game in September 1961. Pauli’s tally of 44 goals for Denmark was second only to Poul “Tist” Nielsen. In February 2007, Pauli Jørgensen was also bested by Jon Dahl Tomasson, who scored his 45th international goal for Denmark.