Carlisle born winger Joe Spottiswood joined local junior club Catholic Young Men’s Society in 1911 before signing for Carlisle United in 1912. He joined First Division Manchester City in 1913, making his Football League debut at Bradford City in October that year, and playing 6 matches for City through to the New Year. He joined Bury in the summer of 1914 and played a further 6 matches for The Shakers, scoring once in a defeat at Hull City, but his career was then interrupted by the First World War.
After the War he joined First Division Chelsea but made only one appearance for them in a 2-0 win at Manchester United in January 1920, before joining Swansea Town later in the summer. He played five seasons in South Wales and was in their line up for their inaugural Football League fixture at Portsmouth in August 1920, and winning the 1924-25 Third Division (South) Championship with them, scoring 10 goals in 174 appearances before joining Queen’s Park Rangers in the 1925 close season. He had a single season at Loftus Road scoring twice in 22 appearances before retirement.
He was the younger brother of Bob Spottiswood, who played for Carlisle United, Croydon Common and Crystal Palace.