Dunfermline, Fife born outside or inside left Tommy Niblo began his football career with Cadzow Oak in 1894 and played as an amateur with Hamilton Academical in 1895, joining Linthouse in August 1896. In April 1898 he signed for Second Division Newcastle United for £90 and made his Football League debut at Loughborough the same month, as Newcastle homed in on promotion to the First Division. During nearly four years at Newcastle United he was mainly a fringe player, going on loan to Middlesbrough in April 1900 where he scored twice in 3 games. His only season at St James’ Park where he was a first team regular was 1900-01, when he made 26 appearances during the campaign as Newcastle finished 6th in the League Championship.
In January 1902 he signed for Aston Villa after 5 goals in 60 appearances for Newcastle, and played in their 1903 FA Cup semi final defeat to eventual winners Bury at Goodison Park. But he was again mainly a fringe player at Villa Park, scoring 9 times in 51 appearances. He was however selected for Scotland and won his only international cap in a 1-0 defeat to England at Parkhead in April 1904, before he signed for Nottingham Forest the following month.
Niblo had two seasons at The City Ground scoring 9 goals in 48 appearances but after their relegation in 1906 he was released and joined Southern League Watford in May, where he scored 8 goals in 32 appearances during 1906-07, including a hat‐trick in a 6-2 victory against Leyton. He returned to Newcastle United in July 1907 and became player-coach in January 1908, but didn’t play again for the first team before joining Hebburn Argyle as player-manager in August 1908.
He then joined Aberdeen for “a big fee” in December 1908, where he scored 3 goals in 17 appearances before moving to Raith Rovers in August 1909. In December 1910 he joined Southern League Cardiff City, but stayed only briefly before returning to the north east with Northern Alliance club Blyth Spartans in April 1911, helping them to win the League in 1912-13. During the First World War he also guested for Crystal Palace and Fulham in December 1915 before his eventual retirement, playing non league football in the Isle of Wight after the War.
This photograph is grafted from the 1907-08 Newcastle United team photograph, please see the linked image.