Bycars, near Burslem, Staffordshire born goalkeeper Tom Baddeley began his professional career with Burslem Port Vale in 1892 after joining the club from local non league team Burslem Swifts. He played two Second Division games in the 1893-94 season including his Football League debut against Woolwich Arsenal in January 1894, as Joe Frail and Hugh Mackay shared the number one jersey. Baddeley then established himself between the sticks to become an ever present at the Athletic Ground during the 1894-95 and 1895-96 seasons. However he was suspended by the club in August 1896 after signing professional forms with another club, and was sold on to Wolverhampton Wanderers in October 1896 for £50 after 65 appearances.
He broke through into the Wolves first team the following year, making his debut in a 3-0 win over Preston North End on 1st September 1897. The team went on to finish third in 1897-98, eighth in 1898-99, and fourth in 1899-1900. In his first three years at Wolves, he kept 31 clean sheets. Conversely Baddeley was also in goal in 1900 when Wolves were sensationally knocked out of the FA Cup at home by Southern League club Queens Park Rangers. Baddeley made his England debut in a 4-0 win over Ireland at his home club ground of Molineux on 14th February 1903. He won four further England caps over the next fourteen months, playing against Scotland (twice, breaking his hand at Hampden Park in a 1-0 win in April 1904), Wales, and Ireland again. He also made four appearances for The Football League between November 1895, when still with Burslem Port Vale he played in a 2-2 draw with The Irish League at Stoke, and April 1904.
Baddeley remained almost ever present for Wolves until 1906-07 and played 35 times during Wolves’ relegation season in 1905-06. After making a total of 315 appearances in an 11 year stay at Molineux, he left them in May 1907 for Southern League side Bradford Park Avenue. Despite finishing 13th in 1907-08, and were then elected into the Football League. He was made club captain and played in their inaugural Football League match, a 1-0 win against Hull City, in September 1908, as the club went on to finish in 16th place in 1908-09 with Baddeley making 10 starts. However, he returned to the Midlands with Stoke after failing to become a regular in the Bradford team. His stay at the Victoria Ground proved short though and he played seven Birmingham & District League games in the 1909-10 season before he dropped into non league action with nearby Whitfield Colliery, before retiring in May 1911.
His younger brother George Baddeley was a successful footballer with Stoke and West Bromwich Albion, A further Baddeley, Sam, again probably a brother, played for Port Vale and Stoke.