John Palethorpe was born in Leicester on 23rd November 1909. He played his early football for Maidenhead United in the Spartan League. In 1929 he joined Reading and his 23 goals in the 1931-32 season helped them become runners-up in the Third Division South. He did even better the following season when he scored 29 goals. During his time at Reading he scored 54 goals in 59 games.
In 1932 this high scoring centre forward signed for Stoke City. His goals helped his club win the Second Division championship that season. Preston North End hoped he would do the same for them and signed him for the 1933-34 season. He joined a talented squad that included Bill Shankly, George Holdcroft, Robert Kelly, Ted Harper, Frank Gallimore, Bill Tremelling, Jimmy Milne, John Pears, Billy Hough, Henry Lowe, George Fitton, Frank Beresford and George Bargh.
Two other strikers, George Stephenson and Jimmy Dougal also joined the club that season. Preston at last achieved promotion to the First Division when they finished runners-up to Grimsby Town. Stephenson had a great season scoring 16 goals in 25 games whereas Palethorpe scored 11 in 18.
The following season Palethorpe lost his place to Jimmy Maxwell. In 1934 he joined Sheffield Wednesday and that year scored 13 goals in 28 games. At the end of the 1934-35 season he was on the move again. A short stay at Aston Villa (2 goals in 6 games) was followed by a season at Crystal Palace (11 goals in 39 games). In 1937 Palethorpe left the Football League and played his football for Chelmsford City and Colchester United.
John Palethorpe died in 1984.