Wayne Thomas

Wayne Thomas is an English defender, who was born in Gloucester on 17th May 1979. Thomas began his career at Torquay United and made his debut in the 1995/96 campaign. By 1997/98 Thomas had established himself at a regular at the Division 3 outfit. He scored his first senior goal for Torquay against Mansfield on 2nd December 1997. Thomas remained at Torquay until 2000, featuring 125 times for the club in total.

Thomas signed for Stoke City in July 2000 for a fee of £200,000. He made his debut for The Potters on 12th August 2000 in a 0-0 draw against Wycombe. Thomas became a key player for Stoke the next few years and helped the club reach promotion to Division One in 2002 after winning the play-off final at Cardiff against Brentford. Thomas remained at The Britannia Stadium until 2005, when his contract expired. His final appearance for the club came on 9th April 2005 in a 3-1 defeat at Derby.

Thomas followed his old Stoke boss Steve Cotterill to Burnley in the summer of 2005. His first season at Turf Moor was interrupted by injury. He started his first match for The Clarets on 6th August 2005 in a 2-1 defeat at Crewe. Thomas scored his first goal for the club a week later in a 4-0 win against Coventry. On August 27th Thomas was sent off in a 2-2 draw against Derby. Shortly after that Thomas suffered his first major injury of the campaign when he tore his knee ligaments. He returned in December in a match against Watford. A few weeks after receiving his second red card of the season against Ipswich, Thomas broke his second metatarsal bone, which ruled him out for the rest of the campaign.

Thomas managed to avoid major injury during 2006/07, but discipline remained a problem. He was sent off on 22nd August 2006 in a Carling Cup home loss to Hartlepool, and then again on 23rd September when he elbowed Southampton's Jhon Viafara. The big man's form was hit and miss for The Clarets too, and cost the side a few goals with his mistakes. Steve Cotterill thought enough of Thomas to hand him the captain's armband for part of the season though.

Thomas's last appearance for Burnley came on the opening day of the 2007/08 season at Turf Moor in a 2-1 win over West Brom. On 16th August George Burley's Southampton paid £1.2 million to take him to St Marys. Wayne made his Saints debut on 18th August 2007 in a 2-1 defeat at Norwich. He made a fantastic start at Southampton with his determined displays. Performances away at QPR and Sheffield United were particular impressive. On October 2nd however, Thomas looked poor in a 5-1 defeat at Preston and his form was inconsistent during the remainder of the campaign.

Thomas made just one appearance for Saints in 2008/09, which came in the Carling Cup on 26th August against Birmingham. A serious knee injury kept the defender out for the majority of the campaign. Thomas returned for the opening game of the 2009/10 season against Millwall. While not a first choice player when everyone was fit, Thomas was often needed during a busy season for Saints, due to impressive runs in cup competitions. Wayne scored his first Saints goal in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy win over Charlton, and scored one of the goals of the season against Ipswich in the 4th round of the FA Cup on 23rd January. Thomas played in the 4-1 home defeat to local rivals Portsmouth, but was unable to cope with the pace of Pompey's late counter attacks, and in particular Nadir Belhadji. Thomas was however largely reliable when called on during his last season at St Marys, and played in both legs of the Football League Trophy semi final victory over MK Dons. Thomas's last Southampton appearance came on 16th March 2010 in a 1-0 home defeat to Swindon. He was one of 13 players released by the club on 15th May 2010.

Thomas trained with his old club Stoke during the summer of 2010, and even scored a goal in a friendly against Albion Rovers. He signed for Championship side Doncaster Rovers on August 10th. Thomas made his Donny debut on 14th August as a substitute against Bristol City. His first few months The Keepmoat were interrupted by injuries, but Thomas had a decent run in the team from February 2011 and helped keep the club in the Championship.

In July 2011 Thomas signed for Greek side Atromitos.