Hednesford, Staffordshire born right back Tom Lyons signed for First Division club Aston Villa from Bridgetown Amateurs in April 1907, making his Football League debut against Liverpool that December. He soon established himself as a first team regular playing 23 games as Villa finished League runners up. He then played 35 matches as they won the League Championship in 1909-10, and he won the FA Cup with Aston Villa in 1913 when they beat Sunderland 1-0 in the Final at The Crystal Palace, also playing as they lost to Liverpool at White Hart Lane in the 1914 FA Cup semi final. By the time football was suspended due to the onset of the First World War in May 1915, he had made 238 appearances for Villa almost all at right back.
Lyons joined Port Vale, initially on guest terms, in January 1917. He was a member of the side that lifted the Staffordshire Senior Cup and shared the North Staffordshire Infirmary Cup in 1920 and played 66 games for them over their first two post war League seasons, before being released in the summer of 1921, not before he had finally scored his only career goal, a penalty in an FA Cup win over Loughborough Corinthians in December 1919. Lyons later played for Walsall in a player-coach capacity making a single appearance for The Saddlers in February 1923 against Wrexham when already 37 years old, before his eventual retirement.
He was also a capable cricketer and played as a wicket-keeper for Staffordshire in the 1913 Minor Counties Championship.
His younger brother Jimmy Lyons played for Derby County and Wrexham after the First World War.