Born in St Helens, Lancashire, right back (more often right sided but he played both sides) Tommy Lucas began his football career playing for Sherdley Villa in 1910, Sutton Commercial in 1911, Heywood United in 1912, Peasley Cross Athletic in 1913 and Eccles Borough in 1914 before joining Liverpool in 1916. Due to the First World War Lucas, who made 39 wartime appearances for Liverpool, was unable to make his Football League debut until 13th September 1919, it came at Anfield in a 2-1 victory over Aston Villa. As the Football League returned to being a national competition in 1919, there was fierce competition for the full back positions at that time and Lucas was selected 16 times, used in both full back berths during 1919-20.
He was first selected for England in October 1921 when he played against Ireland in Belfast in a 1-1 draw, and was recalled to the fold for his second cap in May 1924 in a 3-1 win over France in Paris. His final cap was won when he captained his country in a 5-3 win over Belgium in Brussels in May 1926. He also made four representative appearances for The Football League.
Even though he played on 27 occasions for the 1921-22 League Championship winning side, he was only called on once as the club retained the League title the next season due to Ephraim Longworth’s and Donald Mackinlay’s consistency, despite being an England international by that time.A lot of players would have not been able to cope with such the disappointment of being omitted but such was Tommy’s character he didn’t let it get him down and he went on to play on a regular basis over the next five campaign’s notching up over 200 starts.
The Derby Day Telegraph noted that Lucas was “not a big fellow, but sturdily built, strong in tackling, and kicks with a fine discrimination as to length and distance.” He had “a hefty kick in each boot, and a sound judgment in regard to timing a tackle. And yet he is not a Longworth.” In reality he would become arguably as much of a stalwart of the club as Longworth and Mackinlay.
1928-29 was much like 1922-23 with Lucas making only an handful of appearances, Lucas once again showed his strong character and regained his place the following season, and in 1930-31 he was an ever-present as well. Age was now catching up however and in October 1932 aged 37 he played his final game in the red of Liverpool, it came at Anfield in a 3-2 defeat to Arsenal. He scored 3 goals for Liverpool, all penalties, in 366 appearances.
In July 1933 Lucas left for Clapton Orient playing 25 times during 1933-34 before retiring from the professional game already aged nearly 39. He subsequently played for Kent League club Ashford Town before his eventual retirement. He also coached Aylesbury United from August 1936.