Congleton, Cheshire born full back Tommy Clare played for Talke Rangers in 1883 and Goldenhill Wanderers in 1884 before joining Burslem Port Vale in 1886. He joined Stoke City at the foundation of the Football League making his debut in their inaugural League fixture against West Bromwich Albion in September 1888. He was an ever present in 3 of the first 8 seasons Stoke played as a League club, scoring 4 goals in 218 appearances before re-joining Burslem Port Vale in 1897.
He made his England debut against Ireland at Anfield in March 1889 and played three more times for England through to April 1894. He also played once for The Football League.
He appeared once for Manchester City in March 1898 but rejoined Burslem Port Vale as they joined the Second Division in 1898-99, playing for Vale until 1900 making 18 appearances in total. He was subsequently manager of Port Vale from August 1905 to May 1911.