Victorian state player - 1913
Games: 71 (75 total)
Tomkins joined Fitzroy at 15-years-old, but after four senior games in 1904 they released him for being too small even as a rover. Crossing to Melbourne via a year at Leopold, he played one season before leaving for Preston in the VFA.
He returned to the VFL in 1910 and by 1912 was being hailed as one of the best rovers in the competition. He only missed Victorian state selection that year because he was unable to make the game due to business commitments. He instead played in a game representing the league against a side from Ballarat.
Tomkins stayed with the Redlegs until the end of 1913, a year he won a newspaper award for Player of the Year. Transferred west by his employer, Tomkins joined East Perth for 1914 and played five times for Western Australia that season. During 1915 he also coached the side.
Enlisting in the Army in August of that year, he left for Europe at the conclusion of the season to serve with the 28th Battalion in France. Tomkins was injured on duty and received five wounds on the ankle, five in the abdomen, two on his right arm and a piece of shrapnel in the left. He had eight operations and lost his leg as a result of the injuries. He was unable to travel back to Australia for six months afterwards.
He became a football journalist after returning to Australia.