Horwich, Lancashire born right back Tom Bamford began his career with Darwen in the Lancashire Combination in 1908 before joining Second Division Burnley in April 1909. He made his Football League debut at Blackpool in March 1910 and was initially on the fringes of the first team, becoming a first team regular from October 1912 as Burnley gained promotion in 1912-13 as Second Division runners up. The same season he played as Burnley reached the FA Cup semi final, losing the replay 3-2 to Sunderland at St Andrews, Birmingham, after a 0-0 draw at Bramall Lane.
The following season he was part of the Burnley side that won the FA Cup in 1914, winning the Final 1-0 against Liverpool at The Crystal Palace, and he was ever present in the last two seasons of peacetime football, as Burnley finished 4th in the League Championship in 1914-15, but he then missed five years of his career due to the outbreak of the First World War. He continued to play for Burnley part-time in the Wartime Football League, making 34 appearances in 1915-16 and a playing a further three matches between 1917 and 1919. He served in the Army Service Corps during the War.
By the time League football resumed, Bamford was already 32 years of age, and found it difficult to regain his place in the team due to the emergence of young full back Len Smelt. After 157 first team appearances for The Clarets, Bamford left Burnley in 1920 to sign for Central League club Rochdale, where he ended his career before they subsequently joined the Football League.