Born in Netherton, near Dudley, Worcestershire, inside right Tom Grosvenor started his football career with Tippity Green Victoria in 1925 and played for Vono Sports in 1926 and Stourbridge in 1927 before joining First Division Birmingham in 1928 after unsuccessful trials with West Bromwich Albion and Wolverhampton Wanderers, although his early seasons at St Andrews were marred with injury. His Football League debut eventually came at Middlesbrough in October 1931, Grosvenor immediately establishing himself as a first choice in The Blues’ line up replacing an ageing Johnny Crosbie, and he was an ever present in Birmingham’s 1932-33 campaign, scoring 10 goals during the campaign.
Described as “the best inside forward discovery of the last four years” and as “an expert dribbler, he possesses a deceptive body swerve and loves to exploit the cross-field pass”, such was his early impact at St Andrews that he was called into the England squad and made his international debut against Ireland at Windsor Park, Belfast, scoring in a 3-0 win in October 1933. He was capped again the following month in a defeat to Wales at St James’ Park, Newcastle, before winning a third cap, scoring in a 4-1 win over France at White Hart Lane in the first week of December. He also played once for The Football League in a 4-0 win over The Irish League at Deepdale in October 1933.
However he broke his leg in a match at Huddersfield Town two days before Christmas and didn’t return to the Birmingham line up until October 1934 and never fully re-established himself in the first team, moving to Sheffield Wednesday in February 1936 after 18 goals in 116 appearances for The Blues for what was a record transfer fee received by Birmingham, but he again struggled to make an impact at Hillsborough.
After their relegation in 1937 he joined Bolton Wanderers in May after having scored once in 23 appearances for The Owls, and he missed only one game for Bolton in 1937-38 as they finished a creditable 7th in the League Championship. Having lost his place in September 1938, regaining it in December, he played his last match for The Trotters against Huddersfield Town in February 1939 having scored 7 goals in 56 appearances, and the advent of the Second World War effectively ended his senior career. During the War he guested for Walsall and Birmingham, and also played for Redditch, before joining non league Dudley Town in 1945 before his eventual retirement.
His father Sydney played twice in the Football League for Wolverhampton Wanderers in early 1905 and also played non league football for Crewe Alexandra, Worcester City and Walsall. His younger brother Percy played over 180 games for Leicester City in the 1930’s, and another brother, Cliff, was on the books at Leicester City and West Bromwich Albion without making a League appearance. A nephew, Billy Brookes, played for West Bromwich Albion in the 1950’s.
NB by the time this image was published in 1937, Grosvenor was a Bolton Wanderers player although he clearly is pictured wearing a Birmingham shirt.