Mickey Thomas puts Wales on the way to a win over an in-form England in 1980...
Player: Mickey Thomas
Match: Wales v England, 17 May 1980, Racecourse Ground, Wrexham
England travelled to Wrexham in May 1980 buoyed by an excellent 3-1 win over world champions Argentina, including a young Diego Maradona, at Wembley just a few nights earlier. Ron Greenwood’s side were warming up for the European Championships in Italy and England were hoping for a comfortable outing ahead of their first major tournament finals for a decade.
But Manchester United’s Mickey Thomas had other ideas.
It was all going according to plan when Paul Mariner put England ahead in the first half with a close-range finish, but Thomas quickly turned the game around. Three minutes later, the English defence failed to spot the United midfielder in the box, and as a cross was knocked down the unmarked Thomas had the time and space to volley the ball past Ray Clemence.
The Welsh never looked back following the strike from Thomas and they went on to embarrass England, who included United’s Steve Coppell, with a fine 4-1 win that marred Greenwood’s preparations for Italy.
It was Wales’ first win over England since 1955, and Thomas later admitted that it was one of the most memorable moments of his long career.
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