Thomas (Tommy) Black was born in Glasgow on 1st December 1908. He played for Strathclyde before joining Arsenal in July 1931. He spent two years in the reserves before Herbert Chapman decided to play him for the injured Eddie Hapgood against Walsall of the Third Division North in the FA Cup on 14th January 1933.
During the game Black got involved in a feud with Bill Sheppard, the Walsall winger. Fifteen minutes after the interval, Gilbert Allsop headed in from a corner. Soon afterwards, Black gave away a penalty with a blatant foul on Sheppard. Walsall scored from the spot and managed to hold out for a 2-0 win. It was the greatest giant-killing result in FA Cup history.
Chapman was furious with Tommy Black because he had made several bad tackles on Bill Sheppard before giving away the penalty. Chapman set high standards of behaviour on the field and Black's behaviour was unforgivable. He was banned from Highbury and soon afterwards he was transferred to Plymouth Argyle.