Kilbirnie, Ayrshire born right back Tom Brandon began his football career with Clipsons in 1884 and played for Johnstone in 1885, then Port Glasgow Athletic and Renfrew Athletic in 1886 before joining St Mirren in 1888, making 7 appearances for The Buddies before a move to England with Blackburn Rovers in May 1889. He made his Football League debut at Everton that September and was an ever present in Rovers’ League side which finished third in the League Championship, although having played in the first three rounds of their FA Cup campaign he was omitted from the later rounds and didn’t play as Blackburn Rovers won the FA Cup beating Sheffield Wednesday in the 1890 Final.
The following season he did win the FA Cup with Rovers as they beat Notts County 3-1 in the 1891 Final at The Kennington Oval, but he left the club to join Sheffield Wednesday after a single goal in 48 appearances. He was an ever present for The Wednesday in 1892-93 scoring twice in 35 appearances, playing with his brother Harry, but joined Lancashire League Nelson in the summer of 1893 before returning to Blackburn Rovers in December 1893. He then spent seven seasons back at Ewood Park, scoring once in a further 198 appearances and playing his last match for Rovers against Glossop in March 1900. It was during his second spell with Blackburn Rovers that Brandon won his only cap for Scotland, playing in a 2-1 victory over England at Celtic Park in April 1896.
Brandon then returned to Scotland for a further spell with St Mirren in September 1900, playing 10 more matches for them before his retirement. St Mirren continued to hold his registration until May 1906.
He was the elder brother of Harry Brandon who won the FA Cup with Sheffield Wednesday in 1896, and the father of Tom Brandon Jr. who had a good career with the likes of Darwen, West Ham United, Bristol Rovers, Hull City, Bradford Park Avenue and Wigan Borough both sides of the First World War.
NB This image is from October 1895, probably the home game with Preston North End on October 12th which Blackburn won 3-0.