Goal of the Day: T is for... Thomas
Our A-Z Goal of the Day series continues with the letter 'T', which is represented by former Manchester United winger Mickey Thomas .
Originally starting out with Wrexham, Mickey was part of United's squad for three seasons between 1978 and 1981, and made 90 First Division appearances for the Reds. The Welshman scored 15 times in all competitions, and helped the club to reach the FA Cup final in 1979.
A close-range equaliser from the diminutive star, against Liverpool in 1980, is today's Goal of the Day, which you can view below...
Mickey made a name for himself in his native Wales with Wrexham. Signed by the Red Dragons aged 15, he made his first-team debut two years later and was part of the side that reached the quarter-finals of the FA Cup and Cup Winners' Cup in 1974 and 1976, respectively. One of Thomas's final achievements at Wrexham was helping the club seize promotion to the Second Division, before his move to United the following season.
After helping United reach the FA Cup final in 1979, Mickey contributed eight goals from 35 appearances to help the Reds return to the top two of English football in the 1979/80 campaign. Thomas also scored the winner in a 1-0 victory for United in the 100th Manchester derby in league football.
In his first season at Old Trafford, Thomas was part of the squad that made it to the 1979 FA Cup final, which we would ultimately lose to Arsenal. Prior to the showpiece occasion at Wembley, Mickey starred in our two semi-final ties against Liverpool. After a closely fought contest at Maine Road, which finished 2-2, both sides contested the replay at Goodison Park, with the Welsh winger producing a brilliant cross for Jimmy Greenhoff to nod home the winner.
Following on from an impressive 1979/80 term which saw the Reds finish runners-up in the league, Mickey got quickly up-and-running on the opening day of the 80/81 campaign, scoring our third goal in a 3-0 success against Middlesbrough. But it would be a mixed season for the Reds, who finished a mediocre eighth, thanks to a late run of seven successive wins to climb away from mid-table. Thomas would play in three of them.
Mickey would leave United in the summer of 1981 to join Everton, before spells at numerous clubs including Stoke City and Chelsea. Thomas would finish his playing career back in his native Wales, not long after scoring a famous winner, at the age of 37, to help his old club Wrexham knock First Division champions Arsenal out of the FA Cup. At international level, he made 51 appearances, netting four goals.
WHAT THEY SAID
"He was a bundle of energy, on and off the pitch, [and] everything you wanted in a midfield player, because he could run forwards, backwards, sideways to support his team-mates, and he always knew where the goal was. Even when he was having an off day, you still knew he was on the pitch, trying to do something positive for his team." (Lou Macari)