Derby born centre forward Tom Keetley began his football career with Victoria Ironworks and briefly joined hometown club Derby County as an amateur in 1919 without appearing for their first eleven before moving to First Division Bradford Park Avenue in February 1920 with whom he turned professional and made his Football League debut against Manchester United in April 1920, scoring in a 4-1 home defeat.
He scored in his next two games with a double against Sunderland, but his opportunities were very limited over the next three seasons and by the time he joined Division Three (North) club Doncaster Rovers in July 1923, a club for which three of his brothers Harry, Joe and Frank played in their careers, he had scored 5 goals in a mere 23 appearances for The Wearsiders.
His time at Doncaster rained goals in ever increasing numbers. He remains the all-time top scorer for Doncaster with 180 League goals, with 186 in total coming from 241 appearances. He also holds the club record for scoring 6 goals (a double hat-trick) in a 7-4 win against Ashington on 16th February 1929. He also scored all 4 goals in a 4-1 win over Hartlepools United the following month and three other hat-tricks in a 41 goal career best total.
In July 1929 he was signed by Notts County for £750, where he scored his first hat-trick for the club on his debut, in a 3-1 win against Bristol City on 30th August 1929. Keetley holds two significant records in the history of Notts County, of scoring the most goals in a season – 39 in 34 League games in 1930-31 – and ten hat-tricks in four seasons. He left Notts County to join Lincoln City in June 1933, having scored 98 goals in only 110 appearances. He had a single season at Sincil Bank scoring 5 goals in 10 appearances, ending his football career 6 goals short of a triple century before he joined non league Gresley Rovers in 1934. He played for Heanor Town later the same year before his eventual retirement
Tom was one of several brothers from the footballing family who played professionally including Charlie, who played for Leeds United, Bradford City and Reading, Harry who played for Doncaster Rovers and Mansfield Town, Joe who played for Bolton Wanderers, Accrington Stanley, Liverpool, Wolves, Wrexham and Doncaster, and Frank, who played for Derby County, Doncaster Rovers, Bradford City and Lincoln City.