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Everton Past Player Profiles
Right Back

Tony Thomas FACTS
Born Liverpool, 12 July 1971
Height 5' - 11" (180 cm)
Joined Everton from Tranmere Rovers in August 1997 (400,000 *)
Signed by Howard Kendall
Debut v Crystal Palace (h) on 9 August 1997
Nicknames Tubby; Thomas the Tank
Left Everton to join Motherwell in December 1998 (150,000)
Final Match Sub v Nottingham Forest (a) on 8 September 1998
Seasons Club Apps (Lg + Cup) Gls
1988-1997 Tranmere Rovers 257 + 50 12 + 2

* Initial fee. Will rise by 250,000 after a certain number of appearances.

  • Cool
  • Skillful
  • Powerful
  • Crossing
  • Pace
  • Versatility
  • Needs to step up from the Nationwide
  • Not strong enough in defence
Tony Thomas is a lifelong Evertonian who has spent his entire playing career on Merseyside, until recently with Tranmere Rovers.  Seen as an odd purchase by Howard Kendall – his fourth since returning for his third managerial spell – Thomas was expected to increase competition for a critical right-back spot that was firmly held by Earl Barrett during Joe Royle's tenure. 

Perhaps the most disappointing aspect of this new acquisition is what it meant for Jon O'Connor, a player of tremendous talent and skill who found it impossible to force his way into the first-team line-up, and was eventually sold to Sheffield United.  Meanwhile, things did not start too well for Thomas, who was subbed at half-time in his debut match, with Kendall later admitting it was a mistake to play him so early.  

As the season has progressed, Tony found it hard to put together a decent run of matches. The one to suffer from his absence was perhaps Duncan Ferguson.  Thomas had sent in some excellent crosses that Big Dunc converted – three in just six games ain't bad!  But injury problems made it a stop-start first season at Goodison Park for one of Prenton Park's finest, and the arrival of Walter Smith meant an uncertain future for Thomas as one of Howard Kendall's marginal signings.  And the signing of Alex Cleland hardly helped his cause.

He got a brief run-out against Nottingham Forest, but was given no real chance to prove himself, especially as Walter Smith abandoned the whole idea of playing conventional full-backs.  Walter prefers instead to populate the back line with four or five centre-backs.  Tony Thomas's stop-start move to Motherwell must have come as a fait accompli for this lifelong blue who was forced to bid farewell to the club he loved.

Season Squad
1997-98 20 6 (1) - 2 (-) - 8 (1) -
1998-99 20 - (1) - - (-) - - (1) -
Totals: 6 (2) - 2 (-) - 8 (2) -

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