Polmont, Falkirk, Stirlingshire born centre half Tom Townsley played junior football for Lauriston Villa in 1916 and Cowie Wanderers in 1917 before a spell in the United States with California Celtic in 1918, returning to Scotland he joined Falkirk in 1919. He made his debut in a friendly April 26th 1919 against Vale of Leven but his Scottish League debut came against Ayr United that September. He first played for The Scottish League against The Football League in February 1923, winning 4 representative caps during the following two years, three of them against The English League team.
He won his only Scotland cap against Wales when he captained his country at Ninian Park, Cardiff in a 3-0 defeat. He then joined First Division Leeds United in December 1925 making his debut against Burnley on Christmas Day, and he was an ever present in his first two full campaigns which saw Leeds relegated in 1926-27 and immediately promoted from the Second Division in 1927-28 as runners up. In total he spent six seasons at Leeds before re-joining Falkirk in 1931 after 2 goals in 167 appearances. After a further two seasons at Falkirk, by which time he had scored a dozen goals in 284 appearances for The Bairns, he joined Bo’Ness in 1933, moving on to finish his career with Peterhead in 1934.