Manchester-born football speaker and former England player Geoff Thomas is known for his successful career at Crystal Palace during the 1980s and early 90s where he found himself part of the most successful Palace team to date when, in 1991, they finished third place in the top flight league of the era. Retiring in 2002 Geoff has gone on to work as a sports speaker at a variety of sporting and club events.
Making the leap into professional football from a steady job as an electrician Geoff Thomas began following his dream in 1982 when he signed for Rochdale, however, he only truly began to flourish several years later when he was signed by Crewe Alexandra manager and fellow football speaker Dario Gradi in 1984. A popular player at Gresty Road Thomas began to find his feet at Crewe and honed his tackling and attacking skills with the club. After three years at Crewe Geoff moved to Crystal Palace where he remained for six years and was part of the 1990 FA Cup finals team and two times Supporters Player of the Year winner.
As well as working as a football speaker and player on the domestic circuit Geoff Thomas also gained 9 caps for the English national team, beginning 1991 when he was picked by England coach and former sports speaker Graham Taylor for the European Championships Qualifier.
Crystal Palace were eventually relegated from the Premier League in 1993 upon which Geoff Thomas left for Wolverhampton, however, his career at Wolves and subsequent clubs Nottingham Forest and Barnsley were overshadowed by injuries and Thomas eventually returned to Crewe Alexandra in 2001 where he was unable to prevent yet another team from being relegated.
Geoff Thomas retired as a professional football player in 2002 and, the following year, revealed that he had been diagnosed with leukaemia; determining to beat the illness Geoff went on to take part in a number of charity fundraising events including completing the Tour de France route, a full 2,200 miles in 21 days, raising £150,000 for Leukaemia Research Foundation. Geoff has continued to work as a fundraiser and after dinner speaker for the charity and has established his own trust, the Geoff Thomas Foundation, in 2014.
As well as working as an after-dinner speaker Geoff Thomas has taken part in a number of cycling tournaments as well as publishing his own autobiography: Riding the Storm.