New Cumnock, Ayrshire born full back Tommy Hamilton started his football career with junior clubs New Cumnock Afton Lily in 1911 and Cronberry Eglinton in 1912 before joining Kilmarnock in 1913. At Kilmarnock he was a member of the team that won the 1920 Scottish Cup Final when they beat Albion Rovers 3-2 at Hampden Park. His transfer from Kilmarnock to Preston North End in February 1921 is recorded at £4,600, very close to the British record of the time. He had played for the Scottish League in a 3-0 victory over The Irish League at Ibrox only a month earlier, his only representative honour.
He made his Football League debut against Arsenal in February 1921 and the following season he played for Preston in the 1922 FA Cup Final at Stamford Bridge, unfortunately he gave away the penalty that won the Cup for Huddersfield Town. He played for Dick Kerr’s XI on loan during 1924-25 before returning to Deepdale. Although they were relegated in 1925 he stayed with Preston as Club Captain, playing for them for 9 seasons, and he was an ever present in their 1927-28 campaign. In total he played 281 games for Preston without scoring before joining non league Manchester Central in 1929 aged 35. He later joined Great Harwood in 1930 and played for Leyland Motors in 1931 before his eventual retirement.