Thomas “Tommy” Browell, often known as “Boy” Browell, was the third Browell brother from Walbottle near Newcastle Upon Tyne to sign for City when he joined in August 1910. Tommy was clearly the most talented footballer of the trio who had already had brief spells at Northern Alliance side Newburn and North Eastern League side Shildon Athletic, where he scored four goals in four starts, in the latter stages of the 1909/10 season while still 17 years of age. Indeed Tommy was given his debut for City’s first team in September 1910 while still five weeks shy of his eighteenth birthday, filling in for four games at outside right – his first two appearances were the only two senior matches that all three brothers started for the Tigers.
In mid October 1910 Browell was selected as City’s centre forward and his impact was immediate – in his first start as pivot he scored a hattrick in a 4-1 win over Stockport and in his next ten starts he added a further 12 goals including a second hattrick against Barnsley plus braces in a Boxing Day 4-1 win over Birmingham and a New Year’s Eve 2-0 win over West Bromwich Albion. Following the West Brom game Browell went goalless in 19 starts as City’s form collapsed, but added his 16th goal of the season on the last day against Lincoln City.
Tommy rediscovered his from at the start of the 1911/12 season, chosen as centre forward from the off he scored an October hattrick against Gainsborough Trinity and all four goals in a November 4-1 defeat of Leicester Fosse. Browell scored his 16th goal of the season, in his fifteenth start, on Christmas Day against Birimingham City. The Boxing Day return fixture at St Andrews was Tommy final game for the Tigers.
At the end of December 1911 Browell signed for First Division Everton for a £1,650 fee. A few weeks later Everton also signed Tommy brother Andy and outside right Joe Smith fro Hull City, and in the remaining months of 1911/12 season Tommy scored 12 goals in the top flight plus a further seven goals in the FA Cup including two hattricks. In 1912/13 Browell added a further 16 goals in all competitions, finishing two seasons in a row as the Toffees top goalscorer.
In October 1913 Browell transferred to Manchester City for a £1,780 fee, having scored 36 times in 60 starts for Everton. He ended the 1913/14 season as the Sky Blues’ top goalscorer with 14 goals in 33 starts across all competitions. Browell missed a large part of the 1914/15 season and made only 12 starts before World War One halted the Football League in the 1915 close season.
When the League resumed in 1919 Browell returned to Manchester City and quickly sparked up a productive partnership with prolific Sheffield born forward Horace Barnes. After scoring 22 goals in 1919/20 Browell added a further 32 goals in 1920/21 as Manchester City finished runners-up in the First Division. Browell netted 26 times in 41 starts during 1921/22 season but for the next three seasons Browell was a less regular first team presence, scoring 17 goals in 49 starts. Tommy returned to being a first team regular in 1925/26 when he struck 28 goals and ended his the season with an FA Cup Final appearance at Wembley that Browell’s side lost 0-1 to Bolton. Tommy left Manchester City after the 1926 Cup Final having had made 247 starts during his thirteen years at Mancehster City and scored 139 goals. In September 1926 he transferred to First Division rivals Blackpool for a £1,100 fee and in four years at Bloomfield Road he added 27 goals in 67 appearances for the Tangerines.
Browell retired from the professional game in 1930 having scored nearly 250 goals in all senior competitions, though he continued playing for three more seasons as player-manager at Lancashire Combination side Lytham. He then coached Morecambe during the 1933/34 season before taking up a second career as a tram driver along the Blackpool sea front. Tommy remained in Blackpool for the rest of his life, dying in the town in October 1955.
A street in the social housing scheme built in the 1970s close to the site of Manchester City’s former Maine Road stadium is called Tommy Browell Close in his honour.
Date/Place of Birth: 19 October 1892, Walbottle
Hull City First Game: 10 September 1910, Bolton Wanderers A (Division Two), 17 years, 326 days old
Hull City Final Game: 26 December 1911, Birmingham City A (Division Two), 19 years, 68 days old
Newburn (1910), Shildon Athletic (1910), Hull City (1910-1911), Everton (1911-1913), Manchester City (1913-1926), Blackpool (1926-1930), Lytham (1930-1933)
Hull City Record
Career: 52 apps, 32 goalsTommy Browell