His primary position was as a right back. During his career he played for Ipswich Town, Watford, Chesterfield and North Shields. He also made two appearances for England at youth level
Born in Consett, Stirk played youth football for local non-league team Consett A.F.C. He joined Ipswich Town on schoolboy terms in 1971, and after making two appearances for the England youth team, turned professional in 1973.
During his time at Ipswich he was largely a reserve. He made his first-team debut on 5 November 1977, in a Football League First Division match against Manchester City at Portman Road.
His manager at the time was Bobby Robson, who later went on to manage the England national football team However, Stirk himself did not play in the final.
Another future England manager, Watford"s Graham Taylor, signed Stirk for a transfer fee of £30,000 at the end of the 1977-1978 season.
Stirk went on to play every Watford league game in the 1978-1979 season, as Watford gained promotion to the Second Division. However, Stirk did not play for Watford in the Second Division. Two months before the end of the 1979-1980 season, Stirk was sold to Third Division side Chesterfield, at a profit to Watford of £10,000.
After making 56 league appearances over two and a half seasons, Stirk left Chesterfield in 1983 moving on to Blythe Spartans then Tow Law Town, and finished his career at non-league North Shields.
After retiring from professional football, Stirky became an absolute lad of a science teacher who got all the birds.