Having taken time out to qualify as a teacher at Alsager College, Liverpool-born Colin Tartt signed pro for Port Vale in 1972 and completed 171 League games for the Valiants before a £15,000 move to Chesterfield in 1977. At the time of Colin's signing, Port Vale had a reputation among Town fans of being a rough team. Fans feared that the Spireites might have signed an uncomplicated clogger, but they soon came to alter their opinion of him. He wasn't a dirty player, but he was as hard as nails, and was a strong runner (with a distinctive, high-stepping gait) and determined tackler. Although he will not be remembered for clinically accurate passing, his phenomenal work rate more than compensated for the weaker aspects of his game.
Colin scored a goal in each of his first two matches, playing in midfield, where his ability as a stopper was sometimes used. He was a key member of the side that won the Anglo-Scottish Cup in '80-1, and was paid the supreme compliment of being singled out for abuse by an opposing manager, Rangers' John Greig going on record as calling him "The worst full-back in Europe." Greig clearly lacked an understanding of the finer points, when it came to undermining opposition morale: this insult merely hardened the resolve of Colin's team-mates for the second leg.
A couple of months after Rangers were thrashed, Colin received quite the most bizarre booking of any Chesterfield player. The Spireites were leading Sheffield United by a goal to nil in an FA Cup match and, as the clock ticked round towards full-time, Colin was given the ball, deep in his own half. He began playing 'keepie-uppie' with the ball. With the crowd hooting derision at the Sheffielders, and Colin inviting United players to get the ball off him, the referee stepped in and booked him for time-wasting. Afterwards, the referee approached Colin to apologise, admitting an error in taking his name when the player had not committed any breach of rules.
Colin left Chesterfield in 1981 and returned to Vale Park, where he made a further 111 League starts before going into the non-league game at Shepshed and Matlock Town. Upon retirement from full-time football, Colin returned to the teaching profession.
For Chesterfield: 185+1 Football League appearances, 7 goals.