Stylianou was born on January 23, 1942. He was a student in Greece and a footballer for Panionios until 1963 when he returned to Cyprus. His first competitive match for APOEL was in the European Cup of Champions against Lin Oslo. APOEL won 6-0 and became the first Cypriot (or Greek for that matter) side to advance into the second round of a European Cup.
Stylianou was player of the year in 1973. He ended his career early in the 1978 season. In his playing days he was capped 37 times by the Cypriot National Football Team. In those games he scored one goal (in friendly against Greece on December 9, 1970).