A dedicated and determined professional, who starred at full back for Spurs and was their captain and penalty taker over the period of many years. Tommy's timing of a tackle was part of his all-round, consistent package of skills as a full back, who gave 14 great years service to the club.
Tom's career started at Belvoir Sunday School Juniors, where he was spotted by Leicester Fosse, who he joined in 1911. When Spurs played Leicester in a FA Cup tie in 1914, Clay and team-mate Harry Sparrow impressed the management so much that they were both signed the following day.
During World War I, Clay played about 107 guest games and on his return to Spurs, he was such a solid and reliable defender that he was made captain, leading the side to the Second Division championship in 1920. Was a member of the side that went on to win the FA Cup in 1921, although he was not the skipper of the side by then. Won four England caps between 1920 and 1922.
A penalty king during his time at Tottenham, he also had a go at being on the other end, with three appearances in goal. Firstly replacing Bill Jacques for ten minutes v Stoke on 10th April 1920, then starting in goal and playing the whole game on 26th March 1921 away at Sunderland, before making his final performance between the sticks at White Hart Lane, when he went in goal five minutes after the break against Everton on 23rd January 1926, when he took over from Bill Kaine and kept a clean sheet.
While with Spurs in 1923, Tom had a trial to play for Leicestershire County Cricket Club and he put his ability at cricket to good use, with a three year spell as a coach at public schools in the North London area, including Highgate, St. Paul's and Berkhamsted.
After 15 years with Tottenham, Tom retired from playing in May 1929, when he joined Spurs' nursery club at Northfleet United as a coach. Coached football and cricket in the late 1930s and in 1937 he took over as coach at R.V & A.V. Sparta Rotterdam. Later ran a pub and a sports shop in St. Albans, before getting work as a labourer and brick-layer in Southend, a job he had done before he started playing football.
Tommy Clay died on 21st February 1949 in Southend, Essex.