Centre half Tom ‘Sticky’ Sloan was born in Belfast, but grew up in Portadown. He has spells with Crusaders in 1922 and Linfield in 1923 before joining First Division Cardiff City in 1924, making his Football League debut against Notts County in February 1925. Initially a fringe player and not involved in their 1925 FA Cup Final appearance, he only really established himself in the Cardiff City first team from October 1925, the same month that he made his debut for Ireland in a 0-0 draw with England at Windsor Park, Belfast. He went on to win a total of 11 caps for Ireland between 1925 and 1931, eight times while a Cardiff player, adding three more after returning to Linfield.
During their classic 1926-27 FA Cup winning season, he was one of three ex-Crusaders players to play in Cardiff City’s 1-0 Wembley win over Arsenal – Jim Nelson and Tom Watson were the others. Also in The Bluebirds’ side were fellow Irish internationals Tom Farquharson and Sam Irving. 1927 also saw Sloan claim a Welsh Cup winner’s medal after a 2-0 Final win over Rhyl. Arsenal proved something of a favoured opponent for Sloan, his only goal in 90 appearances for The Bluebirds coming as the Gunners visited Ninian Park in November 1928, before leaving the club, along with fellow FA Cup winner Tom Watson, to join Linfield in 1929.
It was at Linfield that Sloan and Watson helped the side win the Irish Cup as Ballymena were defeated in consecutive Finals in 1930 and 1931 and Sloan therefore completed a remarkable treble of winning the major cup in three countries after already having won the FA Cup and the Welsh Cup.
In 1933-34 he was the manager of Portadown as they claimed the Gold Cup, their first senior trophy.
NB by the time this image was published he had clearly moved to Linfield, however he’s wearing his 1925-26 Irish cap so it’s safe to assume this photograph was taken in early 1926, Sloan having played in all three British Home Championship matches either side of the 1926 New Year.