Jo Tessem is a former Norwegian footballer who was born in Orland, Norway on 28th February 1972. Tessem played part time football in the lower divisions of Norway in his younger years while also serving in the Norwegian Armed Forces. In 1994 Tessem enrolled at the Norwegian Police University College in Oslo. That same year he began training with Lyn in order to keep his fitness levels up. In 1996 he was offered a professional contract. Tessem played as a striker, scoring 15 from 22 in his first season. His form earned him a move to Molde in 1998. Tessem helped the club to two consecutive second place finishes.
On 19th November 1999 Tessem joined Southampton for £600,000. He made his debut at right back the next day in a 1-0 home loss to Tottenham. Over the next few years Tessem was used in a wide variety of positions, but spent the majority of his Saints career in midfield. His first two years at the club were most impressive. He scored his first goal for the club in a 2-0 win over Everton on 22nd January 2000. Tessem continued to perform well in 2000/01, netting goals against Chelsea and Coventry amongst others. He won his first international cap for Norway on 28th February 2001 in a 4-0 win over Northern Ireland.
By 2001/02 most of Tessem's appearances came from the bench as performances declined. That's not to say he didn't make any contributions. He headed the equaliser in a 1-1 draw at Arsenal on 2nd February 2002, and repeated the feat a month later at Sunderland. Tessem played his part in Southampton's run to the 2003 FA Cup final, scoring in the 4-0 win over Tottenham in the third round and again in the fifth round against Norwich. He came on as a late sub in the final against Arsenal on 17th May. In 2003/04 Tessem made just three appearances for Saints. He had loan spells at Lyn and Millwall in 2004, before leaving St Marys in the summer of 2005.
Tessem rejoined Lyn on a free transfer in 2005, and had a fairly successful two year spell. In late 2007 he moved back to England where he joined Bournemouth in a short term deal. Tessem failed to impress at Dean Court and was released in May 2008. He later had a trial with Swedish club Orgryte, but a potential moved broke down due to fitness issues. Tessem also had a trial with former club Southampton in the summer of 2009 when the club was still facing an uncertain financial future. He later had short spells at Eastleigh and Lyn before hanging up his boots for good.