Thomas (Tommy) Lonsdale was born in Bishop Auckland on 21st September 1882. A goalkeeper, he played amateur football before joining Grimsby Town in 1908. He played 87 games before signing for West Ham United in 1913. He joined a team that included Herbert Ashton, Dan Bailey, Fred Blackburn, George Butcher, Tommy Brandon, Jack Casey, Albert Denyer, George Hilsdon, Richard Leafe, Syd Puddefoot, Tommy Randall, Arthur Stallard and Jack Tresadern.
He made his debut against Crystal Palace on 25th October 1913. He played in the next game against Coventry City but after letting in four goals he was dropped. He regained his place at the beginning of December but on 14th January 1914, Lonsdale was reported to be "absent without leave". The West Ham United board of directors decided to fine him a week's wages and to demote him to the reserve team. Lonsdale did not regain his first-team place until the end of February.
Tommy Lonsdale died on 17th March, 1973.