* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).
Joe Laidlaw (born 12 July 1950) was a combative midfielder who played for six English league clubs over a 15-year period spanning three decades. He was one of that generation who bridged the gap between terminological eras, beginning his career as a wing-half and ending it as a midfielder despite playing a similar role throughout. He was born in Whickham and started playing locally for Swalwell before becoming an apprentice at Middlesbrough. He signed his first professional contract in August 1967 and went on to make over 100 appearances for the club. In July 1972 he moved on to begin a four-year stint with Carlisle before a three-year spell with Billy Bremner’s Doncaster Rovers. In June 1979 he moved to Portsmouth for a fee of 15,000 GBP. Appointed club captain he quickly became a firm favourite with the Fratton Faithful. In a memorable roller-coaster first season he led Pompey to promotion, this being achieved on the last day of the season after the club beat Northampton 2–0 and Bradford lost 1–0 to Peterborough. The following December Laidlaw was sold to Hereford for 15,000GBP, his last match having been a 1–0 defeat at Barnsley the preceding month. Laidlaw played a further 62 league games for The Bulls scoring 8 goals before ending his career with a very brief spell at Mansfield. After his professional career ended he returned to the south coast to live, and has managed Fareham Town and Chichester City United F.C.
^As football moved from 1–2–3–5 to 1-4-3-3/1–4–2–4
^"Every team needs a Joe Laidlaw- a tough battler to win the ball all over the park and keep everyone up to their job"- Portsmouth manager Frank Burrows quoted in The News, 10 March 1980, article by Mike Neasom “Laidlaw fit for Stockport clash”