Over the course of his five-year career as a professional soccer striker, Goldthorpe played for the Hartlepool United, Crewe Alexandra, and Huddersfield Town teams and was also briefly loaned to both the Arsenal and Bolton football clubs.
He began playing for Huddersfield Town in 1975. During his three years with the team, he scored seven goals.
His battle with ulcerative colitis brought about the premature end of his professional soccer career. After leaving the professional soccer world, he had a business career in the hospitality and greeting cards industries.
He was born and raised in Staincross, Yorkshire, England. He and his partner later lived in the Lake District, Grange Over Sands, and Morecambe.
Over the course of their careers, he and fellow English soccer player Aidy Boothroyd both played for Huddersfield Town.