Originally an inside forward, Winsford, Cheshire born right half Tom Brittleton signed for Second Division Stockport County in 1902 having played junior football for Winsford Juniors in 1896, Winsford Celtic in 1900 and Winsford United in 1901, making his Football League debut against Burslem Port Vale in December 1902, and after 10 goals in 45 games for Stockport he was signed by Sheffield Wednesday for £300 in September 1904 despite interest from Aston Villa and Liverpool, where he soon moved to right half from the end of 1905.
Over the 15 (First World War interrupted) years he played 373 games for The Owls scoring 33 goals and is still at 38 the oldest player to have played for them. He won the FA Cup with Wednesday in 1907 when they beat Everton 2-1 in the Final at The Crystal Palace, and he twice helped them to a third place finish in the League Champshionship in 1906 and 1913.
He was also selected to play for England 5 times between 1912 and 1914. He had been an England reserve in various squads five times in 1909 and 1910 but won his first cap against Ireland in a 6-1 win in Dublin in February 1912, also playing against Wales and Scotland that spring, and he won further caps against Scotland in April 1913 and Wales in March 1914. He also represented The Football League twice.
He signed for Stoke City in May 1920 and missed only one match for them in his debut season, helping them to promotion to the First Division in 1922 as Second Division runners up, and went on to play for them 123 times, scoring 5 goals, until 1925 retiring when he was aged 43, only Stanley Matthews being older when playing for the club. He re-joined Winsford United as player-coach in March 1925.
His younger brother Samuel played football for Stockport County, Preston North End and Southampton. His son John Brittleton played for Aston Villa.