FORMER Manchester United and Wales star Mickey Thomas joins the Daily Post sports team tomorrow, promising his new weekly column will be as transparent and controversial about today's football as was his 20-year career with some of the biggest clubs in the country.
During a roller-coaster ride through the game, which took him full circle from his first club Wrexham and back to the Racecourse by way of Old Trafford, Everton, Brighton, Stoke, Chelsea, Leeds United and many more, Mochdre-born Thomas has experienced the highs and lows of football, to say nothing of life in general.
Only days after helping Wrexham dump league champions Arsenal out of the FA Cup with a fiercely-struck free kick, he was arrested, subsequently convicted of handling counterfeit money and served a prison sentence.
Since then Thomas, who never strayed far from his Llandudno roots, has rebuilt his life, becoming a respected media pundit who currently hosts a nightly radio football phone-in programme as well as working regularly for Old Trafford's in-house MUTV channel, the BBC and Sky.
"I feel immensely privileged to be joining the Daily Post, which is the newspaper I grew up with and have always read," he said.. "I've lived in North Wales for most of my life and I'm delighted to have the opportunity to make a contribution to the region's best sports coverage.
"As a player I always said what I thought, even though some people might not have liked it, and that's continued to be the case. It's important to have the courage of your convictions and I can promise Daily Post readers that I'll give it to them as I see it."
Thomas has waived the payment he might have expected from the Daily Post, instead requesting that the money be shared equally between North Wales charity, Hope House children's hospice, and Wrexham FC's revival fund.
"I'm so proud to be asked to do the column that the question of money never came into it as far as I was concerned," he added..
"Having said that, I'm delighted that two organisations that play such an important role in the region will benefit as a result."