I don't remember much of his later years at Wests, but I remember the 1981 Grand Final between Parramatta and Newtown, their big forwards kept his Jets in the game until late and Tommy almost won it for them with some of his darting runs near the tryline and bombs that almost always landed on or near the tryline. It was only a Brett Kenny try (which included the greatest dummy in history*) in the final minutes of the game when I felt comfortable we would win our first premiership.
*Kenny picked up a grubber kick directed towards the touchline and about 10 metres Parramatta's side of halfway and ran down the touchline towards Phil Sigsworth. Kenny had Ella and Sterling on his inside as well as a couple of Newtown players giving chase, Kenny dummied the pass inside to Ella, which Sigsworth fell for and took out Ella, Sterling and 3 or 4 Newtown players, basically gifting Kenny an easy 35-40 metre run to the tryline. John Ferguson was giving chase from the far side of the ground but was never going to catch Kenny.
Tommy was great footballer and leader, and a passionate New South Welshmen who loved to stick it up the Queenslanders. Characters like him will be missed.