Joseph McCall was born in Kirkham on 6th July 1886. He played local football before being signed by Preston North End in 1905. McCall played his first game at the beginning of the 1906-07 season. Although he failed to hold his place in the team that year, he eventually became a first-team regular.
McCall was fairly short for a centre-half (5ft 8in). However, he made up for this deficiency with other talents. McCall was a great organizer and leader of men and the Preston manager, Charlie Parker, appointed him captain. Despite being sent off for fighting in a game against Notts County in October, 1909, McCall also had a reputation for being a good-tempered and well-behaved player.
In the 1911-12 season McCall was a member of the Preston North End side that was relegated from the First Division of the Football League. However, the team won the Second Division title the following year.
In November, 1912 McCall was selected for a FA trial match between England and the South. Although he played centre-half for England he scored twice in his team's 3-1 victory. This led to him being picked for the full international game against Wales on 17th March, 1913. McCall also scored in this game which England won 4-3. McCall retained his place for the next two games but his international career was interrupted by the outbreak of the First World War.
After the war McCall was in dispute with Preston North End about his contract. After pressure from Preston's fans in December, 1919, the directors decided to make McCall an offer he could not refuse.
The first international match after the war took place in April, 1920. Despite the fact that McCall was 34 by the time, he regained his place in the England team against Scotland.
Preston North End did very well in the FA Cup in 1921. Led by McCall the club defeated Newcastle United (3-1), Barnsley (3-0), Arsenal (2-1) and Tottenham Hotspur (2-1) on the way to the final against Huddersfield Town. Preston lost to the only goal of the game, a penalty conceded by Tommy Hamilton. It was awarded after Hamilton tripped Huddersfield's outside-left Billy Smith. Hamilton admitted the offence but claimed it was outside the penalty area.
McCall retired from football in 1924. During his time at Preston he played in 370 games, a club record at the time. He also scored 15 goals, a reasonable total considering he always played as a defender.
Joseph McCall died in 1965.