West Bromwich, Staffordshire born inside forward Tommy Bowen began his football career with Bush Rangers in 1919 and spent 1920-21 on the books of Birmingham as an amateur, without making a first team appearance. He joined new League entrant Walsall in the summer of 1921 and made his Football League debut at Tranmere Rovers that September in a 1-0 victory, scoring on his home debut in the return fixture at Hillary Street (later renamed Fellows Park) a week later, soon establishing himself as a regular performer and managing 32 appearances before the season end. He continued to feature regularly for Walsall over the following two seasons before a transfer to Wolverhampton Wanderers in February 1924 after 19 goals in 81 appearances for The Saddlers.
He played 4 matches in Wolves’ run in to the Third Division (North) Championship, scoring in a 3-0 win against Tranmere Rovers, and spent four further seasons at Molineux where he was a regular performer without ever being guaranteed a starting berth for prolonged periods, with 29 matches in 1924-25 his best involvement. By the time he joined Coventry City in the 1928 close season he had scored 24 goals in 94 appearances for Wolves, and he stayed two seasons on the fringes at Highfield Road, scoring three times in 11 appearances, before joining non league Kidderminster Harriers in 1930.