Toms became a professional after the Great War, in which he was awarded the Military Cross. After the war he broke into Manchester United’s first team playing 14 games for them in his first season, but was allowed to leave and joined Plymouth Argyle for £500 in September 1920. Coventry were the only club where he was successful, which was surprising considering the shambolic state of the club at the time. Toms holds the distinction of scoring Coventry’s first hat-trick in the Football League, in the 7-1 victory over Wolves on Christmas Day 1922. He left Coventry having been suspended by the club for an undisclosed act of “misconduct” along with Arthur Ormston. Toms was a stocky inside forward, 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m) tall and weighing 12 st (76 kg), and was considered an asset to each team he played for, but he moved into non league football just two years after leaving Coventry.
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