Born Tom Nicholson, Glasgow born full back Tom Fleming lost his parents as a child and was adopted by his mother’s sister, taking her surname, Fleming. He began his football career with Shettleston in 1914 and joined Dundee from Shettleston as an 18 year old in 1919. He soon established a sound reputation leading to Second Division Fulham signing him in January 1922, his Football League debut coming against Wolverhampton Wanderers the following month. He spent three seasons as a Fulham regular before losing his place in August 1925, and after 114 appearances for The Cottagers he transferred to Wigan Borough in October 1925. At Wigan he made 26 appearances before moving back to Dundee, this time with Dundee United in February 1927, making his debut in a drawn Scottish Cup tie against Montrose, for whom he went on to make 22 appearances before being released in May 1928.
His first cousin and adopted brother was Jimmy Fleming, who played for St Johnstone, Glasgow Rangers, Ayr United and Scotland.