Mickey Thomas (footballer)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For other people with the same name, see Mickey Thomas (disambiguation).
Mickey Thomas
Personal information
Full name Michael Reginald Thomas[1]
Date of birth (1954-07-07) 7 July 1954 (age 60)[1]
Place of birth Mochdre, Wales[1]
Height 5 ft 6 in (1.68 m)[1]
Playing position Winger
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1972–1978 Wrexham 230 (33)
1978–1981 Manchester United 90 (11)
1981 Everton 10 (0)
1981–1982 Brighton & Hove Albion 20 (0)
1982–1984 Stoke City 57 (14)
1984–1985 Chelsea 44 (9)
1985–1986 West Bromwich Albion 20 (0)
1986 Derby County (loan) 9 (0)
1986–1988 Wichita Wings ? (?)
1988–1989 Shrewsbury Town 40 (1)
1989–1990 Leeds United 3 (0)
1990–1991 Stoke City 46 (7)
1991–1993 Wrexham 34 (2)
1994 Porthmadog
Total 603 (77)
National team
1976–1986 Wales 51 (4)
Teams managed
1994 Porthmadog
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Michael Reginald "Mickey" Thomas (born 7 July 1954) is a former footballer who played for Wrexham, Manchester United, Everton, Brighton & Hove Albion, Stoke City, Chelsea, West Bromwich Albion, Derby County, Shrewsbury Town and Leeds United. As a Welsh international, he made 51 appearances and scored four goals.[1]

Thomas began his career with local side Wrexham where he spent eight seasons and earned a move to Manchester United in 1978. After three seasons at Old Trafford Thomas had sport spells at Everton and Brighton & Hove Albion before joining Stoke City in August 1982. After one and a half seasons at the Victoria Ground he moved on to Chelsea with whom he helped gain promotion in 1983–84. He then played for West Bromwich Albion and Derby County and also spent two years in the United States playing indoor football for Wichita Wings. He moved back to England in 1988 to ply for Shrewsbury Town and Leeds United before making returns to Stoke City and Wrexham.

Playing career[edit]

Thomas was born in Mochdre, Conwy, Wales, and was among a group of notable footballers to come out of North West Wales during the 1970s and 1980s. Local factory Quinton Hazell bought him a pair of boots when he was at school in the mid 1960s, and at the age of 13 Thomas was a success as left wing on the factory's Conwy League men's team. By 15, he and friend Joey Jones were taken on by Wrexham. Though the first two years were spent cleaning boots, the changing rooms and the whole stadium, Thomas made his first-team debut in the 1971–72 season, when still only 17. Under manager John Neal he helped Wrexham establish their giant-killing reputation by reaching the quarter finals of the FA Cup in 1974 and the quarter finals of the European Cup Winners' Cup in 1976, when they lost to the eventual winners, Anderlecht of Belgium. After helping Wrexham storm to the Third Division title in 1977–77, Thomas crossed the border to England and joined Manchester United. He played 110 games and scored 15 goals for the Red Devils, collecting an FA Cup runners-up medal in 1979.

He then moved to Everton in August 1981 but lasted just three months at Everton, his contract terminated by manager Howard Kendall in the autumn of 1981 after he refused to play in the reserves.[1] He moved to Brighton & Hove Albion where he saw out the 1981–82 season but his wife struggled to settle in Brighton and so he moved on again this time to Stoke City for a fee of £200,000.[1] He instantly became a favourite art the Victoria Ground and top-scored in 1982–83 with 12 goals coming from left wing and he won the player of the year award. In the summer of 1983 manager Richie Barker decided to alter his style of play to the long ball game.[1] This decision did not go down well with the players and most of them signalled their intent to leave and Thomas left in January 1984, after scoring three goals in 21 matches in 1983–84.[1]

He joined promotion-chasing Chelsea in January 1984, signed by the manager who had given him his debut at Wrexham, John Neal. Thomas made an immediate impact, scoring twice on his debut and helping the club become Second Division champions in 1983–84. He was sold to West Bromwich Albion in 1985 for £100,000 where he played 28 times scoring once and also had a short loan spell at Derby County. In 1986 Thomas moved to the United States where he lent his skills to the Wichita Wings in the Major Indoor Soccer League. After two season in the United States he returned to England with Shrewsbury Town and Leeds United before making a return to Stoke City in March 1990.[1] He could do little to prevent Alan Ball's Stoke suffering relegation in 1989–90 but at the age of 36 he played in 44 matches in 1990–91 and won the player of the year award again as Stoke failed to mount a promotion challenge.[1] He was released at the end of the season by Lou Macari and returned to Wrexham in 1991, where in the memorable FA cup defeat of Arsenal in January 1992, 37-year-old Thomas scored the equalising goal from a free kick.[1]

He joined Welsh League side Porthmadog in 1994 under the management of former Welsh international Ian Edwards. When Edwards was sacked Thomas took over as a player-manager however in his three months in charge the side only picked up one point and Thomas decided to leave.[2]

International career[edit]

Thomas gained 51 caps for Wales, and counts scoring a goal for Wales in their win over England as one of the most memorable moments of his career.

Personal life[edit]

Thomas became involved in a counterfeit currency scam, whereby he laundered the money through Wrexham's trainees.[3] North Wales Police arrested him in 1993, and after a trial he was sentenced to 18 months in jail.[4]

After football[edit]

Thomas never played at senior level after his imprisonment, although he did continue playing for a while at non-league level with Porthmadog and Amlwch Town in Wales, until he finally retired from playing in 1995 at the age of 41. Thomas currently provides analysis on all Manchester United matches on "Total Football" on Key 103 and Piccadilly Magic 1152. He also works as an after-dinner speaker, where his favourite joke remains: "Roy Keane's on 50 grand a week. So was I till the police found my printing machine."[3]

Career statistics[edit]

Club Season League FA Cup League Cup Other[A] Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Wrexham 1971–72 Third Division 20 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 20 3
1972–73 Third Division 26 0 2 1 2 0 4 0 32 1
1973–74 Third Division 19 4 3 0 1 0 0 0 23 4
1974–75 Third Division 31 5 0 0 1 0 0 0 32 5
1975–76 Third Division 30 2 2 0 3 0 4 0 39 2
1976–77 Third Division 45 6 6 0 5 2 0 0 56 8
1977–77 Third Division 43 7 9 1 6 0 0 0 58 8
1978–79 Second Division 16 6 0 0 3 0 2 0 21 6
Total 230 33 22 2 21 2 10 0 283 37
Manchester United 1978–79 First Division 25 1 8 1 0 0 0 0 33 2
1979–80 First Division 35 8 2 0 3 2 0 0 40 10
1980–81 First Division 30 2 3 1 2 0 2 0 37 3
Total 90 11 13 2 5 2 2 0 110 15
Everton 1981–82 First Division 10 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 11 0
Total 10 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 11 0
Brighton & Hove Albion 1981–82 First Division 20 0 3 1 0 0 0 0 23 1
Total 20 0 3 1 0 0 0 0 23 1
Stoke City 1982–83 First Division 41 11 3 0 2 1 0 0 46 12
1983–84 First Division 16 3 0 0 5 0 0 0 21 3
Total 57 14 3 0 7 1 0 0 67 15
Chelsea 1983–84 Second Division 17 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 17 4
1984–85 First Division 27 5 3 0 7 2 0 0 37 7
Total 44 9 3 0 7 2 0 0 54 11
West Bromwich Albion 1985–86 First Division 20 0 2 1 5 0 1 0 28 1
Total 20 0 2 1 5 0 1 0 28 1
Derby County (loan) 1985–86 Third Division 9 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 9 0
Total 9 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 9 0
Shrewsbury Town 1988–89 Second Division 40 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 42 1
Total 40 1 1 0 1 0 1 0 42 1
Leeds United 1989–90 Second Division 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0
Total 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0
Stoke City 1989–90 Second Division 8 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 8 0
1990–91 Third Division 38 7 3 0 2 0 1 0 44 7
Total 46 7 3 0 2 0 1 0 52 7
Wrexham 1991–92 Fourth Division 26 1 5 2 2 0 1 0 33 3
1992–93 Third Division 8 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 10 0
Total 34 2 6 2 3 0 1 0 43 3
Career Total 603 77 56 8 52 7 16 0 727 92
A. ^ The "Other" column constitutes appearances and goals in the Full Members Cup, Football League Trophy, UEFA Cup, UEFA Cup Winners' Cup.

Honours[edit]

Wrexham
Manchester United
Chelsea
Stoke City

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Stoke City 101 Golden Greats. Desert Islands Books. 2002. ISBN 1-874287554. 
  2. ^ "Porthmadog Stars". Porthmadog F.C. Retrieved 28 April 2013. 
  3. ^ a b "Football's Bad Boys:Mickey Thomas". Virgin Media. Retrieved 30 October 2009. 
  4. ^ Duncan Mackay (3 February 2002). "Sportsmen who went to jail". The Observer. Retrieved 21 August 2006. 

External links[edit]