Bedlington, Northumberland born right back Joe Richardson began his football career with New Delaval Villa and played for Blyth Spartans in 1928, from where he was signed by First Division Newcastle United for £250 and reserve team player William Hyde in exchange in May 1929. Richardson made his debut in an FA Cup tie against Brighton & Hove Albion in February 1930, his Football League debut coming a week later in the derby match with Sunderland, which Newcastle won 3-0 at St James’ Park. However despite occasional outings, Richardson failed to establish a regular place in Newcastle’s first eleven during his first five seasons at the club, and it was only after Newcastle’s relegation to the Second Division in 1934 that he got his opportunity.
A fearless tackler, he missed only 3 matches in Newcastle’s first attempt to regain top flight status, and scored his only career goal in a win at Bradford City in March 1935 as Newcastle could manage no better than a sixth place finish. He was a regular starter for The Toon through to the summer of 1939 immediately before the outbreak of the Second World War that September, which forced the abandonment of peacetime football, by when he had made 223 appearances for The Magpies. Later that year he played in an unofficial wartime international for England, playing in a 2-1 victory over Scotland at St James’ Park in December 1939, but retired from professional football before the War’s end. After his retirement he joined the Newcastle United coaching staff as an assistant trainer, where he remained a highly jovial and popular backroom figure until his death in 1977, having served the club for 48 years.