Spotlight On ‘True Inspiration’

No Doubting Thomas

The cover to look for…..

A four-page article on Geoff Thomas appears in the latest issue of the football nostalgia magazine Backpass.

Wolves Heroes’ David Instone travelled to Droitwich to meet up for the second time in a few months with the man whose life became about much more than football.

It would have been nice to think the 58-year-old might have been present three nights ago at the Molineux clash of two of his former clubs.

But conversations with him and the subsequent discoveries about his past, in particular his tough battle with leukaemia, remind us of the different directions his life has gone in since he hung up his boots.

Who would have thought, for example, that cycling would become as important and all-consuming to him as football was for the first two decades of his professional life?

But it was to two wheels that he turned after life-saving stem-cell treatment was facilitated in 2004 by a close match with his sister Kay.

Thomas subsequently told his consultant that he planned to cycle the Tour de France course and, after convincing him that he meant the whole 3,500km-plus of it, not just one stage, he drew the response: “Normally, at this point, people ask me if they can go swimming.”

One of his fellow riders from that epic 2005 marathon was present in the press box for Wolves’ midweek win over Crystal Palace and said: “Geoff was absolutely inspirational on that ride.

“To think he had had surgery to save his life only a few months before starting his training and to then cover gruelling distances on the course itself was a remarkable effort.

The front cover of the programme on Thomas’s debut day, at home to Bristol City in 1993.

“Sharing a few weeks with him in that environment showed me that he must have been a natural captain as a footballer.”

One of the four pages given over to Geoff’s life and career in Backpass homes in on his injury-blighted Wolves career, with another detailing his rise and fall as an England player under Graham Taylor.

The player’s photo appears under the main picture on the front cover, which shows Mike Summerbee shooting goalwards in Manchester City’s title

Please click on the icon to the right to learn more about buying issue 84 and ordering future copies of this excellent publication.