Oswaldtwistle, Lancashire born inside or outside right Joe Eddleston played junior football for St Mary’s, Oswaldtwistle before he signed for local First Division professional club Blackburn Rovers in May 1919, making his Football League debut at Burnley that September and scoring the following week when Arsenal were the visitors. In all he played 7 games and scored 3 goals for Rovers that season but didn’t get another look in, joining Nelson in April 1921.
He scored 16 goals in 37 games in Nelson’s inaugural Football League season, including a hat-trick against Rochdale in April 1922, saw him as the club’s top goalscorer, and he then scored 23 goals the following campaign, including all three goals at Rochdale in January 1923, as Nelson won the Third Division (North) Championship. However his 14 Second Division goals in 1923-24 were not enough to save Nelson from immediate relegation, he then scored 26 goals as Nelson finished runners up in the Third Division (North) in 1924-25, including hat-tricks against Durham City, Hartlepools United and Crewe Alexandra. His final hat-trick came in a 5-3 win over Doncaster Rovers at Seedhill in January 1926, in a season when he again scored 20 League goals.
His excellent goalscoring record for the Lancashire club saw him top their goalscoring charts for each of his five seasons. After scoring exactly 100 goals in 193 games, he moved to Swindon Town in August 1926 and although the pace of his goals ratio cooled he remained a regular marksman, he netted 69 times in 218 games for The Robins over the following six seasons, including a hat-trick in a 6-3 win over Merthyr Town in October 1929 and a treble in a 4-4 draw with Newport County in November 1930. In 1930 he was described as “not one of the speed merchants of the game but a real brainy player whose strategy discounts lack of speed.” In July 1932 he returned to Lancashire for a final League season with Accrington Stanley, scoring 12 goals in 41 appearances, before retiring from professional football having scored an impressive 184 career goals.