Townsley: Thomas (Tom)
Born: Polmont, Stirlingshire: 28-04-1898
Debut: Burnley (h): 25-12-1925
5’11” 11st 2lb (1930)
He came from a family of coal miners in Polmont (who came originally from County Antrim)
and served with the Scots Guards in World War One. His football career began with junior
side Laurieston Villa, progressing to Cowie Wanderers before joining Falkirk in 1919. A
dominating and mobile pivot, he played for Scotland once, as captain, in their 3-0 win
against Wales in 1925, and turned out for the Scottish League representative side four times.
He joined Leeds for a near record £5,000 in December 1925 and missed only four games in the
next three and a half seasons, being an ever-present in his first two seasons with the club
in 1926-27 and 1927-28. A Scottish International and Leeds Captain, Townsley was
successfully converted from centre-half to right-back during his stay at Elland Road. The
switch served a dual purpose, plugging a problem position at Right-Back and accomodating
Ernie Hart at Centre-Half. In October 1931 he went back to Falkirk and played until 1933. He
then moved to Peterhead as Player/Coach and five years later he was appointed their Manager
and ran the side until well after the War. He managed the team that won the Highland League
Cup three years in a row after the war. He died, aged seventy-seven, on 10th April 1976 and
a press notice said - "There is so much one could write about Tom Townsley, but need I say
more than this? When in the company of Tom you were in the company of a Gentleman."
(Information kindly supplied by Tom's grand-daughter).