Wayne Thomas

Date and Place of Birth

17th May 1979 - GLOUCESTER

 

Transfers to and from Burnley

from STOKE CITY - 1st June 2005

to SOUTHAMPTON - 17th August 2007 (£1.2 million)

 

First and Last Burnley Games

CREWE ALEXANDRA (a) - 6th August 2005

 

WEST BROMWICH ALBION (h) - 11th August 2007

 

Other Clubs

TORQUAY UNITED, STOKE CITY

----------------------------------------

SOUTHAMPTON, DONCASTER ROVERS, ATROMITOS,

ALKI LARNACA, VERIA, ROCHDALE (loan)

 

 

Burnley Career Stats

 

Season League FA Cup League Cup Others Total
                     
  apps gls apps gls apps gls apps gls apps gls
2005/06 12(4) 1 0(1) - 1 - - - 13(5) 1
2006/07 33 - 1 - 1 - - - 35 -
2007/08 1 - - - - - - - 1 -
                     
Total 46(4) 1 1(1) - 2 - - - 49(5) 1

 

Profile by Tony Scholes

 

Wayne Thomas - he arrived at Burnley in a blaze of publicity and he's left just over two years later in a deal that is the fourth highest for Burnley and as our record sale for a defender.

In the summer of 2005 he was being courted by a number of Championship clubs. His club Stoke wanted to keep him, but Derby, Norwich and Ipswich were all keen on his signature, as was Steve Cotterill who wanted to bring him to Burnley to strengthen the centre of defence with Frank Sinclair and John McGreal.

Thomas had started his career with Torquay United as a trainee in 1995 and he was still in his first year when he made his league debut in February 1996 at Wigan, still at the age of 16. He went on to make over 100 league appearances for the Devon side before Joey Gudjonsson's dad, Gudjon Thordarson took him to Stoke in a £200,000 deal.

Five years later and Steve Cotterill, who had managed him briefly at Stoke, joined the chase for his signature. He looked odds on to go to Derby, then managed by George Burley, but Burley's days were numbered at Pride Park and when he finally decided to join us it meant a flight out to Florida for Steve Cotterill, where his family were holidaying, to get his signature on the forms.

Steve more than once told us that he would be a big player for Burnley, that he would be a real favourite for player of the year, but things didn't start too well for him. He was sent off in one of his early games against Derby, for supposedly elbowing Grzegorz Rasiak. We appealed against the decision and that allowed him to play at Reading on August Bank Holiday Monday, and he ended that game with a cruciate ligament injury. The appeal, for what it was worth now, failed in any case.

He was back quicker than expected, but another injury required surgery at the end of January and on his return he was sent off again, this time for dissent after a penalty had been awarded against us at Ipswich. That was more time out and his season was finally halted when he suffered a metatarsal injury at Stoke in March.

Things couldn't have been much worse, but in the summer of 2006 he was appointed captain instead of Frank Sinclair and led us into the new season when we got off to such a good start. Things weren't much better for him though. He was dismissed again for a professional foul in the Carling Cup tie against Hartlepool, the penalty he conceded cost us the game.

That was a one match ban and in double quick time came red card number four in his Burnley career, against Southampton, this time for an incident away from the ball as we awaited the taking of a free kick. Even Steve Cotterill didn't try and defend him this time, and said he would consider the captaincy situation during his four match ban.

He retained the captaincy, but because of injuries was straight back into the side for the televised game against Preston. He played well, but got injured again and he was out once more. By this time the Burnley crowd had just about had enough but some of the criticism was way over the top.

He got back into the side but eventually lost the captaincy to new signing Steven Caldwell. Then at Colchester he was stretchered off and was ruled out yet again. Once he got back into the side, playing alongside Caldwell, he played the best football of his Burnley career. He turned in a series of top performances as we pulled away from the relegation zone to a comfortable position.

Again injuries blighted his 2007 pre-season but he was fit to resume on the opening day of the season. Some fans just weren't able to give him a chance, and the chairman of one supporters group told us ahead of the match that he was nothing better than Conference standard, he even suggested that the entire supporters group had a similar opinion.

As it happens he had an excellent game as we beat West Brom, but that proved to be his last game for us. We'd already had an offer from Southampton, and unacceptable offer, but they came back with further offers until they reached a figure, quote at £1.2 million, that we were prepared to accept.

Thomas, hardly surprisingly, wanted a new challenge, and Steve Cotterill reluctantly agreed to let him go. We only fleetingly saw Wayne Thomas at his best. He had to contend with a number of problems during his two years at Burnley. Some of them were without doubt self inflicted, but the injuries ruled him out of too many games.

He is better than what we saw overall, we certainly got a glimpse of that at the end of his second season, and we can only all hope that he has better luck with Southampton.

That luck didn't change at Southampton and in three years at St. Mary's he saw the club relegated after a financial crisis and also suffered another serious knee injury. He was released at the end of the 2009/10 season.

Following a successful trial at Doncaster he was offered a one year deal and signed it on Tuesday 10th July 2010, three days after the start of the new Football League season. However, he was released at the end of his contract and that led to him moving to Greece in a deal that was set up by his former Stoke and Burnley team mate Ade Akinbiyi.

Thomas signed a one year deal with Athens based Atromitos. He helped them qualify for the Europa League but, when offered just a one year deal in the summer of 2012, he opted for a move to Cyprus with Alki Larnaca. That went sour and he was soon out of Cyprus with Fifa now investigating the reasons for him leaving. Thankfully for him, he had other offers on the table and returned to the Greek Super League and he signed a contract with Veria.

January 2013 saw a return to England when he signed a contract with Blue Square Premier League club Luton. But he played just twice up to March and on the last day of the loan deadline he signed for Rochdale until the end of the season.

After training with Chesterfield in pre-season he wasn't offered a deal by another former Claret Paul Cook and on the eve of the 2013/14 season joined Football Conference Premier club Tamworth. He later moved to Worcester City where he played until mid-March 2015 when his boss confirmed that his contract would be terminated to allow him to take up an offer of a coaching role within the academy at New York Red Bulls.

 

Links

Thomas set for Donny (02/08/10)

Donny get Thomas (10/08/10)

Unwanted Harley and Thomas looking for new clubs (19/05/11)

Blake and Thomas on the move (31/03/13)

Thomas is better than Sodje (12/08/13)

From America and back to America (17/03/15)