County Durham born centre half Thomas Adey joined the Tigers in April 1923 from Northern League side Bedlington United, for whom he had just put in an impressive performance in the Northumberland Senior Cup final. He played a handful of games for City’s reserves before starting the 1923/24 season as manager Bill McCracken’s first choice defensive pivot, However Adey’s introduction coincided with a poor run of form that yielded just two wins in sixteen matches, at the start of December 1923 McCracken restored experienced Mancunian Tommy Bleakley to the centre half position and Adey was consigned to the reserves for the next season and a half, leaving the Tigers in August 1925.
Thomas William Adey was born in Easington Lane, a County Durham colliery village south west of Sunderland. His father was a railway fireman who later operated underground steam-powered machinery in the nearby Hetton Lyons Colliery. Adey started playing for local Wearside League side Hetton and in November 1921 he impressed sufficiently to earn an extended trial at Second Division side Bristol City, who offered him a professional contract in December 1921. Adey was a regular in the Bristol Ciity reserves team but was unable to break into the first team and by April 1922 he had returned to Hetton. He spent the the 1922/23 season at Northumberland-based Northern League side Bedlington United and showed form that encouraged Hull City to give him a second chance in the professional game.
In August 1925 Adey left the Tigers and signed for Division Three South side Swindon Town, where he made 29 starts at left half before joining divisional rivals Northampton Town in July 1926. In only 11 starts for the Cobblers Adey played in all three half back positions and also had one game at left inside forward, in August 1927 he was on the move again returning north to play for Division Three North side Durham City. A regular starter making 34 appearances, Thomas ended the season playing in Durham’s forward line and scored six goals including a January 1928 brace against Barrow. However at the end of the 1927/28 season Durham City finished bottom of the League and failed to be re-elected, meaning Adey was once again on the move.
In August 1928 he headed for the Dearne Valley in South Yorkshire and joined Yorkshire League side Wombwell as player-coach. In March 1929 he transferred to Midland League side Newark Town and stayed there for two years, apart from a three month spell assisting Mansfield Town’s reserves at the start of the 1930/31 season. In May 1931 his work commitments took him back to Hetton in County Durham and he spent the 1931/32 season playing for his first club, now called Hetton United. His football career came to an end in the 1932 close season but he continued to play cricket at a decent level – in the mid-1920s he spent summers playing for Hull Cricket Club, then moved on the Newark-based side Ransomes & Marles in the late 1920s while playing for Newark Town. He then played for Hetton Lyons CC for several summers during the 1930s.
Adey married a Hull girl while playing for the Tigers, by February 1937 the family had returned to Hull and Thomas was awarded a license to become landlord of the Zoological pub on Beverley Road. He remained in Hull for the rest of his life, eventually settling off Sutton Road where he died in January 1986.
Date/Place of Birth: 22 February 1901, Easington Lane
Hull City First Game: 25 August 1923, Leicester City H (Division Two), 22 years, 184 days old
Hull City Final Game: 24 November 1923, Sheffield Wednesday H (Division Two), 22 years, 275 days old
Hetton (1920-1921), Bristol City (1921-1922), Hetton (1922), Bedlington United (1922-1923), Hull City (1923-1925), Swindon Town (1925-1926), Northampton Town (1926-1927), Durham City (1927-1928), Wombwell (1928-1929), Newark Town (1929-1930), Mansfield Town 91930), Newark Town (1930-1931), Hetton United (1931-1932)
Hull City Record
Career: 16 apps, 0 goalsThomas Adey