Sheffield born centre half Joe Sykes joined First Division Sheffield Wednesday soon after the First World War and made his Football League debut at Liverpool in March 1920, one of two appearances during their relegation season. A fringe player at Hillsborough, he remained with Wednesday until 1924, scoring once in 31 appearances for The Owls, before joining Swansea Town in the 1924 close season.
In his first season at The Vetch Field he played more than 30 games as Swansea won the Third Division (South) Championship, becoming club captain and playing for The Swans for a further ten seasons in the Second Division. He was part of their 1926 FA Cup semi final team that lost to eventual winners Bolton Wanderers at White Hart Lane, and was an ever present in their 1929-30 campaign.
Sykes eventually lost his place in 1933, adding only eight appearances in his final two seasons to his total of 336 appearances for The Swans, his last game coming in February 1935. He also scored 8 goals for Swansea Town. He returned to the club after the Second World War to work as a trainer and a scout, and is credited with discovering Ivor Allchurch, and later had a 19 game spell as the club’s caretaker manager between October 1966 and February 1967 after the departure of Glyn Davies.