Cockermouth, Cumberland born inside forward Joe Satterthwaite played for local Lancashire Combination club Workington from 1905 before moving south to join his brother Charlie at First Division Woolwich Arsenal in December 1906. He had to wait nearly fifteen months for his Football League debut, which finally came against Manchester United at The Manor Ground, Plumstead, on 21st March 1908, and he scored his only Arsenal goal in 5 appearances before the season end in a 1-1 draw with Bolton Wanderers at Plumstead two weeks later.
Arsenal signed the experienced former Liverpool forward Sam Raybould in the summer of 1908, and Satterthwaite was omitted from the side as a result. He was transferred to Second Division Grimsby Town in November 1908 and scored twice in 21 appearances for The Mariners before joining one of Charlie’s former clubs in the close season of 1909 when he moved to Southern League New Brompton (now Gillingham). He had two seasons at Priestfield before leaving New Brompton, and had a trial at Mexborough Town in 1911 before joining Central Alliance club Shirebrook in 1912. In 1913 he joined Mansfield Mechanics, the local rival to what is now Mansfield Town, and played for them until his retirement.
He played together with his elder brother Charlie Satterthwaite at Woolwich Arsenal in 1907-08, becoming the first pair of brothers to play for The Gunners on Joe’s Arsenal debut, Charlie had a distinguished career winning the League Championship with Liverpool and also played in addition to Arsenal for among others Workington, Bury and West Ham United.