Sunderland born goalkeeper Tom Naisby started with local junior club Sunderland East End in 1897 and first came to Roker Park to join First Division Sunderland as understudy to Ned Doig in September 1898, making his Football League debut against Blackburn Rovers in April 1899. Released, he joined Sunderland West End in September 1901 but re-joined Sunderland in 1902, spending 1902-03 on the books without making any further first team appearances.
In May 1903 he joined Southern League Reading, spending two seasons with The Royals before returning to Roker Park for his third spell in May 1905, this time taking over the gloves as their number one and playing 36 times in the 1905-06 campaign before losing his place later in 1906 to Bob Ward, making only 3 further appearances for The Wearsiders.
In October 1907 he signed for Second Division Leeds City to replace Harry Bromage. He made his City debut after Bromage conceded six goals at Derby on 19th October. Despite that performance, Bromage was still extremely popular in West Yorkshire. When Naisby made his debut a week later at home to Lincoln City, Nimrod reported for the Leeds Mercury: “The critics certainly looked forward to the appearance of Naisby in goal with some curiosity, and there were those who would have quickly said bitter things at the expense of the management for having the temerity to displace Bromage had Naisby failed to make a satisfactory debut.
“Quite early in the game Naisby was afforded an opportunity of proving his ability, and he won the admiration of the crowd by fisting away a rasping drive from Law, the Lincoln outside-left … On one occasion, however, Naisby had an anxious time, and he had to handle thrice in rapid succession by punching away two shots, and then catching a third drive. This work aroused the cheers of the ten thousand spectators, and they felt satisfied that the ex-Sunderland man will prove an acquisition to Leeds City’s playing strength.”
Naisby missed just one game before the end of the season and proved himself over and over again as a top class custodian. He was just as good in 1908-09, playing in all but five games as City adjusted to life under new manager Frank Scott-Walford.
Harry Bromage returned with a vengeance in 1909-10, restricting Naisby to just two games as he monopolised the goalkeeper’s jersey. That prompted Naisby to move on the following summer after 68 appearances. and he signed for Luton Town of the Southern League. He remained at Kenilworth Road until March 1913 when he moved on to South Shields in his native North East. He ended his career with Darlington joining them in 1914.