Thomas is a man who will be remembered for one important moment in his life. But what happened after that immortal night in Anfield 1989?
It has to be said that Michael Thomas is a man of protean allegiances. He was born in London on August 24th 1967 and grew up as a Spurs fan. Despite this he signed for Tottenham’s North London rivals Arsenal as a schoolboy in 1982. He would later move from Arsenal on to rivals Liverpool. By 1986 Thomas had broken into the Arsenal team and was eventually switched from the right back position into midfield. In fact, his position in the midfield was the perfect forum for his surging runs and allowed him to exhibit his deadly strength and pace.
Michael Thomas made 206 appearances for Arsenal and scored 30 goals. He won the League Cup, and the picked up two League Championship trophies as an Arsenal player. Despite the plaudits and the achievements, Thomas is a man who will be remembered by Arsenal fans (and, likely by Liverpool fans) for one career defining moment.
Brian Moore’s commentary will live on in connection with that moment: “Thomas, charging through the midfield… it’s up for grabs now! Thomas! Right at the end!” Arsenal headed to Anfield needing to beat Liverpool by two clear goals to win the title. Early in the second-half Alan Smith headed an Arsenal goal home to give the Gunners a chance. But it looked as though they were going to spurn the opportunity before Thomas received Smith’s lay-off, scooted forward and flicked the ball past a despairing Bruce Grobbelaar. Arsenal won that game 2-0 and picked up the League title. Michael Thomas won Arsenal the league at Anfield in 1989.
Despite being known as an Arsenal legend, Thomas also spent a significant portion of his life playing for Liverpool. This is slightly surprising considering that he broke the hearts of Liverpool fans with his goal just two seasons before he agreed terms with the Reds.
Thomas made 126 appearances for Liverpool scoring only 9 goals. The best of the bunch was a turn-and-volley against Sunderland in the 1992 FA Cup Final. As well as an FA Cup Winners medal, Thomas also won the League Cup with Liverpool in 1995.
As his career dialled down he played for Middlesbrough before moving abroad to play for Benfica. He bought a house in Portugal by the sea, where his family came to live with him, but unfortunately, wasn’t able to hold down a regular place on the team. Two years later he returned to England for one last season with Wimbledon before retiring in 2001.
Now 43 years old, Thomas still lives in Merseyside where he has remained a loyal Liverpool fan (despite being voted the 37th Greatest Gunner in 2008’s official poll). In his spare time he even plays for the Liverpool legends in Masters football tournaments. He runs a security and chauffeur firm from for ‘high-level individuals’ – that means Presidents and the likes – based in Wirral.
Of course, he still gets stopped on the streets and asked about that moment. Despite all his various achievements and accomplishments, his League-winning goal against Liverpool will, for better or worse be his career defining moment.
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