Portsmouth born goalkeeper Tom Burrows joined Southern League Champions Southampton in 1904 as third choice goalkeeper behind George Clawley and Michael Byrne. After spending most of the season playing for the second team in the Western League, Burrows made his Southern League debut in the last match of the 1904-05 season, a 1-0 defeat by Queens Park Rangers on 29th April 1905.
A tall, able goalkeeper, Burrows retained his place for the first three months of the following season before injury allowed Clawley to reclaim the No. 1 shirt, which he kept until his retirement in the summer of 1907. As a result of a serious injury sustained in October 1906, Burrows was unable to step up on Clawley’s retirement, and had to be content to act as cover for new signing Herbert Lock. Following an injury to Lock sustained at Watford, Burrows took over in March 1908 for the rest of the season, but Lock was again preferred for the start of the 1908-09 season.
Lock was once again injured at Watford in March 1909, allowing Burrows to take over the custodian’s shirt. This was the start of a run of 48 consecutive appearances in goal for Burrows, but an indifferent start to the 1910-11 season allowed Arthur Brown the opportunity to replace him. Burrows was once again recalled in April 1911 for the last month of the season, before moving on in the summer after 84 appearances for The Saints. He then joined another Southern League club, Merthyr Town, where he remained as virtually an ever present during the four seasons until the onset of the First World War forced the suspension of peacetime football.