Sedbergh, Yorkshire born goalkeeper Tommy Cornthwaite was on the books of FA Cup holders Bradford City in 1911-12 but didn’t make a first team appearance for The Bantams and joined Fleetwood in 1912. From there he signed for Preston North End in 1913 but didn’t make a first team appearance before the suspension of peacetime football in 1915 due to the onset of the First World War.
He was already 29 years old when he joined Second Division Bury in June 1919, and he made his Football League debut for Bury against Wolverhampton Wanderers in October 1919, immediately becoming their principal goalkeeper, missing only four matches to the end of 1920-21, but lost his place to Ernie Heath in October 1921 before regaining it in April 1922 for the final 8 matches of the season. However the following season he was understudy to Billy Richardson making only 3 further appearances. Having played 93 matches for The Shakers over four seasons at Gigg Lane, his final appearance came against Cup Finalists West Ham United in April 1923. Besides being a goalkeeper for Bury he was a part time policeman and as a result he missed several games for The Shakers due to a miners’ strike when all police leave was cancelled.
After leaving Bury he continued to play non league football, playing for Connah’s Quay & Shotton in 1926, Lytham in 1930, Manchester North End in 1931 and finally Crosland & Pickstone in 1932 before retirement.