Tweedmouth, Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland born left half Joe Blythe began his football career with Delaval Villa in 1896 and played for Blyth the same year. After playing for Jarrow in 1897 he was signed by First Division Everton in 1898, making his Football League debut at Bolton Wanderers in February 1899. After 8 appearances in his debut season he broke into the Everton team on a more regular basis in September 1899, making 20 appearances and scoring his only goal for The Toffees in a 3-1 Mersey derby victory over Liverpool at Goodison Park in January 1900.
But having lost his place he spent two seasons on the fringes at Everton and only played 6 times as they finished runners up in the League Championship in 1902, before joining West Ham United in the 1902 close season having made 35 appearances for Everton. A regular for The Hammers during his two seasons at Upton Park, he made 57 appearances before a move across the River Thames to join Millwall Athletic in the 1904 close season. He won the London Challenge Cup with them in 1909 and scored 3 goals in 341 appearances for Millwall over seven seasons before moving to Watford for the 1911-12 season, and in 1912 Blythe became player-manager of Blyth Spartans for a period before the First World War, his last known club.