Though they are geographically distant, the rivalry between Liverpool and Arsenal is one of the most historic in English football.
Two of the country’s biggest clubs, there have been countless games between the two sides that have been hugely significant in the context of their seasons – and yet another one of those games is coming this weekend, with the sides facing off at Anfield on Saturday evening.
The most memorable of the clashes between the sides undoubtedly came in 1989, where a last minute injury time goal from Michael Thomas sealed the win and subsequently the title for Arsenal. Bizarrely, the title wasn’t won on points – but instead his goal, which was the second of the game for Arsenal, won the Gunners the title on the number of goals scored.
The goal has forever put Thomas down in Arsenal folklore, and so, ahead of the next meeting between the two sides, just where is the ex-midfielder now? Footballers often take different paths following their retirement from the game, and Thomas’ is a particularly interesting tale.
Of course, in a cruel state of irony, Thomas would later move to Liverpool in 1991, and he would go on to spend seven years on Merseyside. His time at Liverpool was decidedly less successful than at Arsenal when it comes to trophies, with just the two domestic cup medals to show for his tenure at Anfield, though he is still rated highly by most Liverpool fans.
Following his departure, Thomas made an unsuccessful move to Benfica and then a switch to Wimbledon before eventually retiring in 2001.
Since that point, though, Thomas’ post-retirement career has taken a few bizarre turns. For the most part, it appears as though he has moved away from football – but he is still a feature for the Liverpool legends masters team.
He opened up more on his career after football to LFC fan site LFChistory.net, with the 49-year-old revealing that he has since set up his own chauffeur company and a security company – indicating that he is certainly a talented man outside of football. Liverpool fans will also likely be pleased to hear that he certainly remains a Red and still holds a season ticket at Anfield.
A career firmly entwined within the DNA of both Liverpool and Arsenal, Michael Thomas’ career was certainly one of success – and it seems as though he is continuing in that vein following the end of his playing career.
Perhaps a Liverpool or Arsenal player be able to grow their legend and follow in the footsteps of Michael Thomas with a heroic final minute winner this weekend.