Ryton-on-Tyne, County Durham born goalkeeper Tom Newton began his football career with Blaydon United from where he was signed by Southern League club Croydon Common in September 1912, where he was a regular during his debut season, scoring two penalties in 24 appearances. Newton was selected in goal when a London Select team visited France to play two matches, beating a Paris Select eleven 5-0 on 1st November 1913 and against Cercle Athletique de Paris the next day, but he was displaced in The Commoners’ goal from the start of the new season and he only played twice more for Croydon Common in 1913-14 before joining Southern League club Swindon Town.
However he never played for Swindon’s first eleven before the onset of the First World War forced the suspension of peacetime football in May 1915, and during the War he played in 10 wartime friendlies for Swindon including a match against The Footballers’ Battalion. Having himself joined The Footballers’ Battalion, he became their first casualty on active service, albeit that he was hospitalised after a minor accident during disembarkation from the SS Bellerophon at Le Havre on 17th November 1915. He was subsequently wounded in action and captured on 13th November 1916, and after the War he had recovered and was able to resume his football career, initially with non league club Newburn in September 1919.
In October 1919 he signed for Southern League club Portsmouth where he was understudy to Ed Robson, making 2 appearances as Portsmouth won the Southern League Championship in 1920, their final season in the Southern League before joining the new Third Division of the Football League in the summer of 1920. He made his Football League debut against Newport County in October 1920, his only appearance of the season, deputising for Robson in the only match he missed, and Robson continued to dominate the gloves in 1921-22, when Newton took over the gloves in April and played the final 8 matches of the season. But after Robson was transferred to Sunderland in May 1922, Newton was handed the Pompey gloves from the start of the 1922-23 season, missing only two matches at the end of the season as Portsmouth finished seventh in the division.
Leaving Portsmouth after 53 appearances, he returned to the north east in the 1923 close season to join North Eastern League club Scotswood but he returned to Football League action in June 1924 when he joined Third Division (North) club Ashington, where he made 18 appearances of the first half of the season before losing his place to Ralph Ridley after a heavy defeat at Bradford Park Avenue. He returned to non league football with Crawcrook Albion in 1925, his final club before his eventual retirement.