Benwell, Newcastle upon Tyne born goalkeeper Tommy Jackson began his football career playing with Rutherford Juniors and Benwell Colliery, and during the First World War played Army football while serving with The Northumberland Fusiliers. He joined First Division Aston Villa from Durham University in 1920, making his Football League debut at Sunderland in February 1921. The following season he only missed 3 matches in Aston Villa’s goal and he was also their goalkeeper in their 1924 FA Cup Final defeat to Newcastle United at Wembley.
Despite stiff competition for the gloves at Villa Park predominantly from Cyril Spiers, he regained the number one spot in 1926-27 when he missed only four matches. However he lost his place to Ben Olney in December 1927 and made only occasional appearances thereafter, playing his last match for Aston Villa at Sunderland in February 1930, by when he had made 186 appearances, before he joined non league Kidderminster Harriers later that year.