Manchester United

Mickey Thomas - Manchester United - Biography of his football career at Man Utd.

Photo/Foto: George Herringshaw

Date: 16 April 1979

Click on image to enlarge

      Wednesday, 07 July 1954
      Mochdre, Wales.
  • Chelsea FC
    • Club Career Dates
    • League Debut
      Saturday, 14th January 1984 in a 2-1 win at Derby County (Aged: 29)
    • Club Career
      43 League apps (+1 as sub), 9 goals
  • Everton FC
    • Club Career Dates
    • League Debut
      Saturday, 29th August 1981 in a 3-1 win at home to Birmingham City (Aged: 27)
    • Club Career
      (Aug 1981-Nov 1981)
      10 League apps
  • Manchester United
    • Club Career Dates
    • League Debut
      Saturday, 25th November 1978 in a 1-0 win a Chelsea (Aged: 24)
    • Club Career
      90 League apps, 11 goals
  • Stoke City FC
    • Club Career Dates
      82-84, 90, 90-91
    • League Debut
      Saturday, 28th August 1982 in a 2-1 win at home to Arsenal (Aged: 28)
    • Club Career
      (During three spells)
      97 League apps (+6 as sub), 21 goals
  • Brighton & Hove Albion
    • Club Career Dates
      1981 - 1982
    • League Debut
    • Club Career
      20 League Games.
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Mickey THOMAS - Manchester United - Biography of his football career at Man Utd.


                                                             Part 1: 1978 - 1979.

Mickey Thomas achieved a personal dream when Manchester United stepped in with a fee of £300, 000 for his transfer from Wrexham in November 1978, where he had helped the club to win the Division Three title in the 1977/78 season. He regarded United as "the greatest club in the world" and the fans were soon delighted with the way that he settled into a left-sided attacking role. The little Welshman from Mochdre, Colwyn Bay made his debut for Wrexham at 17 and played in around 300 senior games, as well as representing his country as Mike Smith sought to build a successful international side. Thomas made his United league debut at Stamford Bridge on 25th November 1978 and he slotted in well to give the team a more balanced look, something they had been missing since the departure of Gordon Hill to Derby. It was the Welshmen who laid on the winner when he pulled the ball back from the dead-ball line for Jimmy Greenhoff to nod home. Making his first home appearance in a 2-0 win over Spurs, Thomas looked good value for money with his mixture of orthodox wing play and midfield artistry. Mickey was undoubtedly one of the stars of United's two incredibly exciting FA Cup semi-finals with arch-rivals Liverpool that season.


The first game at Maine Road ended all square at 2-2 and in the replay at Goodison Park the game was, once more, evenly fought. However, as pressure built up in the United goalmouth, Liverpool were exposed to the quick decisive break. Joe Jordan touched on a high clearance to Thomas on the left wing and the little Welshman, who had matched his fine performance in the first meeting with another superb display, drew the Liverpool cover towards him and curled a cross into the path of Jimmy Greenhoff, who was surprisingly free of attention. Greenhoff allowed the ball to bounce before nodding past a hapless Clemence. That was enough to settle the match but United were to suffer heartbreak in the final itself, going down 3-2 to Arsenal in a match that had a quite incredible late twist. With 85 minutes on the clock, Arsenal were 2-0 up and seemingly cruising to victory, only for United to draw level with late goals from Gordon McQueen and Sammy McIlroy. The celebrations for the United faithful sadly lasted all of a minute as the Gunners went up the other end to snatch a last minute winner through Alan Sunderland. What had been an unremarkable game for 85 minutes had seen one of the most unbelievable finishes in FA Cup Final history, but there was to be no fairytale ending for Mickey in his first season with the Red Devils. (Rob Hill)



Mickey Thomas is pictured above playing for Manchester United on 6th. October 1979.

Photograph George Herringshaw.  ©


                                                     Part 2: 1979/1980 - 1980/1981.

Not since 1968 had Manchester United finished in the top two, but Mickey Thomas helped return the Red Devils back to their rightful place in the elite of English football in the 1979/80 season. He chipped in with the more than handy return of 8 goals from 35 league appearances, United winning 6 and drawing 2 of the league games in which Mickey found the net. In a crucial clash with title rivals Liverpool, the Old Trafford crowd were electric. Dalglish put the visitors ahead, but Thomas levelled when he met a Steve Coppell cross at the foot of the post. Jimmy Greenhoff won the game with a shot high into the roof of the Stretford end net. The Old Trafford faithful loved it and even though the title was to eventually stay at Anfield this great victory would be some compensation. Other highs that season for Mickey came in the 100th Manchester derby, United winning through a single Thomas goal, whilst his penalty was enough to see the Red Devils through to their first league triumph at Villa Park since 1963.


Things looked rosy for club and player at the start of the following season, with Mickey scoring the third goal as United enjoyed a 3-0 opening day victory over Middlesbrough. That result, however, would prove to be one of the few highlights of the season, with United winning just 7 of their next 34 league games, to find themselves languishing in the lower half of the table. A terrific winning run of 7 straight games at the end of the campaign lifted United up to 8th place but Mickey was to feature in only 3 of those games. His last outing of the season - a 1-0 win at home to Crystal Palace on the 4th April - would also prove to be his last appearance in United colours. He moved on to Everton, the club he had supported as a boy, in August 1981 for a fee of £450, 000, having scored a total of 15 goals in 110 appearances during his time at Old Trafford. He gained 51 caps for Wales during his career and scored in a 4-1 defeat of England in 1980, which he names as one of the most memorable moments of his career. (Rob Hill)