Bishopton, Renfrewshire born centre forward Joe Anderson started playing football prior to World War One with Thornliebank in 1912, playing with Vale of Leven in 1913 and subsequently with Airdrieonians in 1915, Dumbarton Harp in 1918 and Clydebank in 1919. In the spring of 1920 he signed for First Division Burnley and made his Football League debut against Sunderland at Turf Moor on March 20th, replacing legendary goalscorer (and scorer of the FA Cup Final winner in 1914) Bert Freeman in attack as Burnley won 2-1 on a title run-in that saw them finish as League runners up, with Anderson scoring 6 goals in 8 games including a hat-trick in a 5-0 victory over Everton on April 17th.
The following season Anderson only missed one game and was Burnley’s top scorer with 25 League goals and 6 more in the FA Cup including 5 in a 7-1 demolition of Aston Villa in February, 4 in a Christmas Day thumping of Sheffield United, and 5 more in a 7-3 FA Cup romp at Leicester City, spearheading Burnley’s 1920-21 League Championship winning season with the likes of Burnley legends Bob Kelly and Tommy Boyle as team mates. He followed up with a further 21 goals in 1921-22 as Burnley finished 3rd in their defence of their League title.
In total Anderson scored 72 goals in 126 appearances for The Clarets, before returning to Scotland to finish his career at Clydebank in 1923. He subsequently played for Pollok in 1924, returning to Vale of Leven in 1926 before rejoining Pollok in 1927, where he finished his playing career.