Tom King made only 19 appearances for Millwall despite spending five seasons in SE16 between 2014 and 2019.
The 25-year-old goalkeeper joined the Lions from Crystal Palace ahead of the 2014-2015 campaign, before spending the following season out on loan at National League sides Welling United and Braintree, where he gained valuable experience in senior football.
Despite Millwall’s number one Jordan Archer being named as the club’s player of the season in 2015-2016, the bulk of King’s appearances for the Lions came the next year, featuring 17 times in all competitions.
King’s first-team bow came in an EFL Cup tie against Nottingham Forest in August 2016 – the same night Shaun Williams memorably scored from the halfway – although his next four starts would all come in the EFL Trophy.
However, King wouldn’t wait long for his Football League debut – starting in a goalless draw at Chesterfield in February 2017 before enjoying 10 more starts in League One action, sandwiched between what was the biggest day of King’s short career against Tottenham in an FA Cup quarter-final at White Hart Lane, although it turned out to be a disasterous afternoon for the shotstopper, who conceded six in North London – including a howler to hand Heung Min Son his hat-trick in stoppage-time.
He would play two more EFL Cup matches at the beginning of 2017-2018 and then join Stevenage Borough for the season, where he played 20 times.
Upon his return, King moved to League One outfit AFC Wimbledon on season-long loan deal, but after being dropped, was recalled by Neil Harris in January and would endure arguably the most challenging period of his career – with Archer, Ben Amos and Dave Martin all ahead of him in the pecking order, leaving King to have to settle for Under-23s football for the remaining five months of the campaign.
Inevitably, King was released by Millwall at the end of last season before signing permanently for Newport County.
Since moving to Rodney Parade, the goalkeeper has started 35 in all competitions, keeping the second-most clean sheets in the division, and his excellent performances have led to international recognition – with King being called up to Ryan Giggs’ Wales squad for their UEFA Euro 2020 qualfying matches against Azerbaijan and Hungary in November, although he didn’t feature.
Despite promising so much during Neil Harris’ early days, it didn’t work out at The Den, but having revitalised his career in South Wales, King is proving his worth and is on track to enjoy a respectable career in the lower leagues.