|Date of birth||20 June 1911|
|Place of birth||Barnsley, England|
|Date of death||February 1994 (aged 82)|
|Place of death||King's Lynn, England|
|Playing position||Wing half|
|1933–1939||West Ham United||251||(3)|
|→ Dartford (guest)||?||(?)|
|→ Sheffield Wednesday (guest)||?||(?)|
|1949–19??||Wisbech Town (player manager)||?||(?)|
|1949–19??||Wisbech Town (player manager)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only. † Appearances (Goals).|
Cockroft played for Yorkshire Paper Mills, Barnsley Old Boys, Ardsley Athletic, Wombwell, Rotherham United and then Gainsborough Trinity before moving to West Ham United, then of Division Two, in 1933.
Signed after a months trial from Gainsborough by Charlie Paynter, Cockroft made his West Ham debut on 14 April 1933, having made just four reserve appearances for the club. Drafted in after injuries to first-choice left-halves Albert Cadwell and Joe Musgrave, he made the position his own and rarely missed a game up to the outbreak of World War II. He was an ever-present in the team for the 1933-34, 1934-35, 1935-36 and 1936-37 seasons.
Cockroft played as a left-half, but often switched positions with Len Goulden during matches to dumbfound oppositions.
He played in the Football League War Cup winning side of 1940.
During the war, he guested for Sheffield Wednesday as direction of labour laws compelled his employment at a steelworks in Sheffield. He went on to join the club after hostilities ended. Cockroft spent almost three years at Hillsborough after the war, making a total of 96 appearances in all competitions. His debut came on 5 January 1946 in a goalless FA Cup 3rd round first leg game against Mansfield Town. He went on to play in all of the Owls FA Cup games in the 1945–46 season; the club were eventually knocked out by Stoke City in the 5th round following comprehensive wins over York City and Mansfield.
Cockroft was a footballer with many other interests, he was a keen golfer, swimmer, motorist and was also very interested in anatomy.
- "themillers.co.uk". Retrieved 2008-07-10.
- Hogg, Tony (2005). Who's Who of West Ham United. Profile Sports Media. p. 49. ISBN 1-903135-50-8.
- "West Ham Player List". Retrieved 2007-01-01.
- "Joe Cockroft". westhamstats.info. Retrieved 2008-07-10.
- Jackson, Stuart. "Joe Cockroft". The Sheffield Wednesday Archive. Retrieved 2008-07-10.
- Brown, Neil. "Sheffield United". Post War Football League Player Database. Retrieved 2008-07-10.