Stourbridge, Staffordshire born inside forward Joe Walters started his football career with Wordsley Athletic in 1901 before joining hometown Birmingham and District League club Stourbridge in 1902, from where he joined First Division Aston Villa in June 1905, making his Football League debut against Blackburn Rovers that December. During his seven seasons at Villa Park he only played more than 25 games in two of them (1906-07 and 1910-11), but he won the League Championship with Villa in 1910, contributing 6 goals to the campaign.
By the time he joined Oldham Athletic in June 1912 he had scored 41 goals in 121 appearances for The Villains. At Oldham his career was severely disrupted by the First World War, during which Walters served as an Air Mechanic 1st Class with the Royal Air Force, repairing aircraft. He resumed at Boundary Park after the War, but after a brief spell with Accrington Stanley later in 1919, he joined Southend United in the summer of 1920 after 36 goals in 117 appearances for The Latics.
He scored 7 goals in 32 appearances during Southend’s inaugural Football League season, and followed this with single season spells at Millwall from May 1921 (5 goals in 23 games), and Rochdale from October 1922 (6 goals in 25 games). In March 1923 he joined non league Manchester North End and then in December 1923 returned to Football League action with Crewe Alexandra playing once against Accrington Stanley on 8th December 1923 before falling ill. He died of pneumonia later the same month aged just 37.