Radford, Nottinghamshire born outside left Tommy Waterall began his football career with Radford Institute and played for Heanor Town in 1905 from where he joined First Division club Notts County in 1906, making his Football League debut at Wolverhampton Wanderers that April, his only appearance before the end of the season. In two further seasons with Notts County he struggled to establish himself as a first team regular despite a spell in the team between February and November 1907 where he played in most of County’s matches, but after 5 goals for The Magpies in 32 appearances he transferred to Second Division club Bradford Park Avenue in June 1908, where he scored twice in 6 appearances during a single season at Park Avenue.
Waterall went into non league football with Midland League club Mansfield Mechanics in 1909 but returned to Football League action with Second Division club Leicester Fosse, signing for them in July 1913, and was a regular for The Fossils during their 1913-14 campaign, scoring 6 goals in 33 appearances. Waterall joined Southern League club Watford in July 1914 but didn’t play any part in Watford’s first five fixtures of the 1914-15 season, but having made his debut he was an ever present thereafter, and scored a hat-trick on his second appearance for the club, in a 3-0 away win at Millwall. Watford went on to win the Southern League Championship that season, the final season before the onset of the First World War forced the suspension of peacetime football in May 1915.
After the resumption of peacetime football following the War, he spent two furthers seasons as a regular in the Watford team. He was a part of the side that finished second in the Southern League on goal average in 1919–20, and the following season Waterall played in Watford’s inaugural Football League fixture, a 2-1 away win at Queen’s Park Rangers on 28th August 1920, missing only 6 matches in their first League season.At the end of the 1920–21 season, Waterall joined Gillingham on a free transfer, where he scored once in 19 appearances during 1921-22 before a move into non league football with Kent League club Sheppey United in the 1922 close season. He joined Sittingbourne in 1925 before a return to Sheppey United in 1926, helping them to win the Kent League in 1927-28, finally playing for Canning Town Glass Works in 1930 before his eventual retirement.
His two younger brothers were also successful professional footballers, his younger brother Isaac (“Ike”) played for Notts County, Doncaster Rovers, Rotherham County, Rotherham Town and Millwall, and his youngest brother Albert played for Notts County, Stockport County where he was a stalwart for thirteen years, Queen’s Park Rangers and Clapton Orient.