East Kilbride, Lanarkshire born inside right Tom Paton began his football career with Larkhall Thistle in 1900 before joining Scottish League Hamilton Academical in 1901. After a spell at Royal Albert in 1902, he joined Glasgow Rangers in 1903 where he scored once in 8 appearances of which two were in the Scottish League. In the 1904 close season he joined First Division Derby County making his Football League debut at Stoke that September, scoring 4 goals in 38 appearances before being signed by Sheffield United in March 1906. In just over a year at Bramall Lane he scored 4 times in 21 appearances, before returning to Scotland in May 1907 to join St Mirren.
At Love Street he was described as “a brainy player who dribbles and shoots well”, he became the club captain, scoring 15 goals in 120 appearances for The Buddies over the next 5 years before joining Airdrieonians in May 1912. A move to St Johnstone followed in 1914, before he joined Cowdenbeath in 1917. He finished his career at Stevenston United, joining them in 1919.