Blackburn born winger Tommy Briercliffe began his career with St Lukes in nearby Wheelton before a spell with another local club, Clitheroe in 1896. In 1897 he joined First Division Blackburn Rovers where he spent three seasons after making his Football League debut at Stoke in September 1897, scoring 11 times in 61 appearances. He spent 1900-01 at Stalybridge Rovers before joining Woolwich Arsenal in May 1901 and made an instant impact on the team, he scored three times in his first four games, including a brace in a 4-0 win over Burnley in September 1901. He was ever-present at outside-right during his first campaign and finished as the top scorer in the Second Division having netted 11 times in 34 appearances. In 1903-04 he helped the team win promotion to the First Division as Second Division runners up weighing in with 10 goals during the campaign and in total scored 34 goals in 133 games for the club.
In 1905 he joined Southern League Plymouth Argyle and was a fixture in the team over the next two years, the 1906-07 club handbook describing him as “a typical Lancastrian lad, both in style and play, knows all the tricks of the game, fearless, swift and skilful”. He scored 16 goals in 89 appearances during 1905-06 and 1906-07. After leaving Home Park in 1907 he played for Brentford before returning to his native Lancashire to end his career with Darwen.