Born: September 6, 1897
Died: April 26, 1966
Thomas Florie was born September 6, 1897 in Harrison. Growing up as the son of Italian immigrants in a town populated primarily by families from England, Ireland and Scotland, Tom used his skill as a soccer player to fit in with the other boys. He gained a reputation as a fine wing in local sandlot games before enlisting to fight in World War I. Upon his return he began playing for Harrison FC.
Tom became a pro in 1924, signing with the Providence FC of the American Soccer League. He played five seasons for the Clamdiggers and scored 63 goals before moving to the New Bedford Whalers. Tom and East Newark native Jimmy Douglas were teammates on the U.S. national team, which played a handful of matches in the 1920s and went on to compete in the 1930 World Cup (left). Tom was named captain. The Americans made it to the semifinals before falling to Argentina.
Tom continued to play pro soccer during the Depression. In 1932, he won the U.S. Open Cup with New Bedford and competed on the losing end of the National Challenge Cup. He played in the World Cup again in 1934, as the U.S. lost to Italy in the opening round. Tom continued to be a productive player into his 40s. In 1941, with the Pawtucket Rangers, he won the U.S. Open Cup again, defeating Chrysler FC.
Tom retired from soccer and lived the rest of his life in North Providence, Rhode Island. He passed away in 1966 at age 68. Twenty years later Tom was inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame.