Bridgeton, Glasgow born inside forward Tommy McDermott played junior football for Rutherglen Rosebank in 1897 and Cambuslang Hibernian in 1898 before joining Scottish League club Dundee in 1899. He then signed for Glasgow Celtic in October 1901, making his Celtic debut in a 2-2 League draw at Hearts on November 2nd 1901. His early performances for the Bhoys suffered from what appeared to be a lack of match fitness but there was no doubting McDermott’s clever and creative talent though and once up to speed he was an asset to the team, being a pivotal member of the side which won the Glasgow Exhibition Cup in 1901. He made a total of 21 Celtic appearances and scored four goals before departing Parkhead in May 1903 for Everton.
He made his Football League debut against Blackburn Rovers in September 1903 and helped Everton finish successively third and second in the League Championship in his first two seasons, but he was transferred to Second Division Chelsea in October 1905 after 19 goals in 71 appearances for The Toffees. While Chelsea finished 3rd in his first season, he only played a handful more matches in the new 1906-07 season before (in what would be a promotion season for Chelsea) being transferred back to Dundee after 11 goals in 32 appearances. He soon returned to Football League action joining Bradford City. Signed in the run in to their Second Division Championship in 1908, he scored once in 4 matches and started the new First Division season in their side, playing 4 more times for The Bantams before joining Gainsborough Trinity, for whom he played only once that November. He returned to Scotland to join Kilmarnock, and joined Dundee Hibernian (now Dundee United) in 1909.
Thereafter he played for non league Anfield Royal in 1910, St Helens Recreation and Wirral Railways in 1911, Vale of Leven and Broxburn Shamrock in 1912, before returning to finish his career with Scottish League Clyde in 1913.
Celtic favourite ‘Trooper Joe’ Cassidy paid great tribute to McDermott in 1924:
“The finest footballer I ever saw. When I was a kid I used to watch him with intense delight when he played for Clyde. If ever there was a master of the ball it was Tommy. He could do what he liked with it.“