Played for Stafford YMCA where he was seen playing by a scout for York City and they subsequently signed him as a professional in 1923, when he turned out for the club in the Midland League.
Signed up by Blackburn Rovers in February 1924 for a transfer fee of £250. Joe scored six goals from the right wing position in 73 league matches for Rovers and built a reputation as a speedy wide man, which attracted the attention of Arsenal in February 1926, when Herbert Chapman made him his first signing for the club. Stayed at Highbury for 12 years scoring 107 goals in 333 League matches as a right winger.
April 1927 saw him gain his first England cap against Scotland and also won five appearances representing the Football League.
Played cricket for Middlesex for 10 years up until World War II and scored over 8,000 runs for his county.
Moved onto Huddersfield Town in January 1938 to end his career, with his last game, disappointingly, being the 0-1 FA Cup final loss to Preston North End at Wembley in May 1938 after extra time.
During World war II, Hulme worked as a War Reserve Policeman and originally came to Tottenham as Chief Scout in February 1944, but took over as assistant manager in October 1945 and moved into the manager's office in January 1946, taking over from Arthur Turner. Put a good team in place and reached the FA Cup semi-final in 1948, but left the post in March 1949.
On leaving Spurs, Joe took up journalism and published a book - "How to Play Soccer" - in 1952. He worked for the Sunday People for many years until he retired in 1969.
Hulme continued to live in Palmers Green and he died at Winchmore Hill on 26th September 1991.