Tom Robinson was born in 1849. In 1895 Arnold Hills, the owner of the Thames Iron Works, decided to establish his own football team. Robinson, who had previously worked for Castle Swifts, was appointed as trainer. According to the reports at the time, on the Monday following a match, the players would go on a brisk walk to free up stiff joints. Serious training took place on Tuesday and Thursday nights in a gas-lit schoolroom at Trinity Church School in Barking Road. Training mainly consisted of Army physical training exercises. Players used a punchball and weights to strengthen the upper body. They also went for runs along the Turnpike Road (Beckton Road). Only a short period was spent training with the ball. In 1898 Robinson lost his job to Jack Ratcliffe as the Irons trainer. However, he continued to work with other athletes who used the Memorial Ground. Robinson was also involved in training local boxers. In 1904, at the age of 55, Robinson was invited by Syd King, to replace Sam Wright as trainer. Tom Robinson was granted a testimonial match against Queens Park Rangers when he retired in 1912.