Leven, Fife born full back (he could play either side) Tom Collins played football for local junior club Leven Thistle in 1902 joining Heart of Midlothian in 1903, making his Hearts debut in a 3-0 victory over Celtic in April 1903. He went to Bathgate on loan in 1905 and also spent the 1905-06 season with East Fife before returning to Hearts. He scored once in 176 appearances for The Jambos and also represented Scotland on one occasion, in a British Home Championship match against Wales at The Racecourse Ground, Wrexham in a 3-2 defeat in March 1909. He also played twice for The Scottish League, in a 3-1 win against The Football League at Celtic Park in February 1909 and in a 1-0 defeat to The Southern League at Millwall in October 1910.
Soon after the latter game he transferred to First Division Tottenham Hotspur for a fee of £825 making his Football League debut for Spurs at Sunderland in November 1910. Over five seasons at White Hart Lane Collins made a total of 122 appearances in all competitions and scored a solitary goal for the club from the penalty spot in a 2-1 home defeat to Derby County in September 1912, before his career was finished by the onset of the First World War and the suspension of peacetime football at the end of the 1914-15 season.