Tommy Lawton (October 6, 1919 - November 6, 1996) was an English association footballer.
Born in Bolton, Lawton's precocious talent won him a trial for the England schoolboy team in which he scored a hat trick but never which never led to a junior cap. In 1935, he signed for Second Division club Burnley F.C.. Despite flat feet and needing to wear orthotics, as a striker, he rapidly achieved fame for his pace, heading ability and two-footed effectiveness in front of goal.
By the start of 1937, Lawton had been bought by First Division Everton F.C. for GBP 6,500 to play alongside the phenomenal, but ageing, Dixie Dean. Exposure and experience in the top flight led to his selection for England in the international against Wales in October 1938, Lawton scoring from the penalty spot in the 4-2 defeat. By the end of the 1938/1939 season, he had won three senior caps, scoring 34 goals for Everton in the final season before World War II, helping the club to win the league title.
For the duration of the war, Lawton served in the army as a physical training instructor. Post-war, he joined Chelsea F.C., scoring 26 goals in the 1946/1947 season before falling into a conflict with the club's management and asking for a transfer. Depite being at the peak of his playing career, he shocked the football world with a move to Third division Notts County F.C., probably attracted by manager Arthur Stollery who had formerly been physiotherapist as Chelsea. At County, he immediately realised an iconic status and real raport with the Nottingham public, scoring 103 goals in 166 appearances for the club over five seasons and helping them win promotion to Division Two in 1950. Despite playing much of his career in the lower leagues, Lawton was capped 23 times for England, scoring 16 goals.
In 1952, Lawton took the player/manager role at Brentford F.C. but enjoyed little success, joining Arsenal F.C. to end his professional playing career.
A second attempt at the player/ manager role at non-league Kettering Town F.C. was more successful but Lawton could hardly resist the opportunity to manage Notts County when it arose. County's dream appointment ended in disappointment and relegation to Division Two at the end of the season and Lawton chose retirement.
A short-lived appointment as a scout was followed by a period of some financial difficulty, hardly mitigated by fees for a column in the Nottingham Evening Post. Increasingly feable in his later years, he died of pneumonia at home in Nottingham. His ashes are lodged at The National Football Museum.