Hi guys,

Sorry for the intrusion, I'm not an Everton fan but I was invited to stick up a post by one of the moderators.

I'm in the middle of writing a book about Thomas and his career, or as I know a lot of you call him, Mad Dog.

I've spoken to some of your ex-players like Alan Stubbs and David Weir about sharing a dressing room with him, plus Archie Knox who was assistant to Walter Smith at Everton - and they had plenty to say.

But I wondered if any of you have memories or dealings with him - he's such a colourful character and the book is a reflection of that. I'm chartering his career from his home town club all the way to that great Real Madrid Galactico team.

So if you fancy sharing anything, be it funny, sad, interesting, or even something that just gives you a tickle, please let me know.

All the best.


Reader Comments (12)

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Scott Hall
2 Posted 05/07/2018 at 22:09:37
When I was a young lad (I'm 24 now so I'm talking around 11 0r 12 years of age, I think) I had a season ticket in the family enclosure with my dad, Mike, and my older brother, Grant. Now, unfortunately, I can't remember the exact date and opposition because of my age at the time but I really wish I could.

Anyway, deep into said game, we have a thrown-in in the opposition's defensive third. Obviously, Tommy Gravesen comes over to take the throw. He steps backward pressing his back against the hoarding of the family enclosure directly in front of me whilst drying the ball in his shirt. In quiet anticipation, the crowd await the throw-in and at this point, having my favourite player stood one row in front of me, young me decided the best cause of action would be to scream "TOMMMMMYYYYY!!!" — genuinely expecting no response.

To my absolute astonishment, Tommy turns around and looks right at me being the only kid stood up directly behind him. I panic, having not planned this far ahead and froze. Tommy awkwardly grinned at me, so I just screamed "AAAVVVVVVVV IIIITTTTTTTTT". It felt like minutes but was most likely a few seconds. Tommy immediately turned back around to get on with his job and delivered a trademark long throw-in into the box, Kevin Kilbane rose highest and buried the chance, Goodison Park erupts.

(Now the best part for me) Tommy turns round from the throw-in, beginning to jog off to celebrate with the team, he gave me a massive thumbs up and shouted "Cheers mate!" whilst laughing. It stays with me and I tell anyone new given the chance. To this day, I still claim it as an assist to an assist in the Premier League!

It's a good pub story! But genuinely, if anyone around at the time can remember the game by any chance, it would be massively appreciated as none of the three of us at the game can remember unfortunately.

Thanks for reading anyway!

Dennis Stevens
3 Posted 06/07/2018 at 02:28:46
I'm sure you'll get plenty of material, Chris – I hope you've got a good editor!
Kevin Prytherch
4 Posted 06/07/2018 at 16:23:22
I went to an Everton event years ago, I think it was the day that Ferguson got transferred to Newcastle as he was meant to be there. It was a meal and meet and greet with some Everton players.

I remember meeting a young Peter Clarke and Tony Hibbert, but it was Thomas Gravesen who stood out.

In the match previously, he had to come off when someone nearly took his leg off, he'd tried to get up and carry on but his leg wouldn't have it. We asked him about it and he was proudly showing off his scar to everyone in the room, leg on the table and trousers (or jeans, can't remember) rolled up so everyone could see.

Steve Ferns
5 Posted 06/07/2018 at 17:42:24
Tommy Gravesen is a massive favourite of mine. I remember when we signed him from HSV. The first time I saw him was against Preston in a pre-season friendly. I was a bit drunk so I can't remember the exact move, but it ended with Gravesen charging through on goal. Gravesen came here with the reputation of being a Lee Carsley or Stig Tofting type so I expected that Tommy would just smash it past the keeper and instead he played a delicate little dink over the keeper into the net. The fans went beserk and thought we'd signed a perfect symbiosis of silk and steel. I went out the next day and got Gravesen on the back of my shirt, it also being the last player's name I ever got on my back.

The next couple of seasons were pretty poor for Tommy. He had played in the traditional German sweeper role for HSV and so was either just behind the defence or just in front of them and smashing the long passes. We couldn't work out where to fit him in, and he struggled in a poor team and was very much a square peg.

I remember having a weekly argument with my mate Paul, a regular on here, who hated Gravesen and used to say Scotty Gemmil was better!

Fast forward to 2004-05 and Moyes was in charge and took us to 4th. This was the perfect (half) season for Gravesen. Moyes had come up with a 4141 formation in which Carsley was the one. Basically Lee Carsley was the opposite of Gravesen and with him in this position Moyes was able to tell Gravesen to forget about defending and in a Rooney-less side to stroll around and get on the ball and try and dictate the game. He did that brilliantly.

Gravesen's best move was the reverse pass that we anticipated but always wrong-footed the defence and left us with goalscoring opportunities.

He had superb control. There was an article in the observer where the author had gone to watch Rooney train but ended up raving about Gravesen's touch. It was immaculate and he could almost kill any Mishit pass stone dead. He was a real finesse player. His passing was the best I've ever seen. Long or short. Superb range and accuracy.

What let him down was that he couldn't do what you assumed he was best at, that was tackling and pressing. He was a headless chicken and his best football was played with the aforementioned Tofting and Carsley.

The year we got 4th it should be noted that Gravesen player just over half a season and we got 42 points with him and just over half that without him.

He'll always be a cult hero for blues of my age, and we'll always picture him clenching his fist, eyes bulging and that mad expression on his face.

Peter Gorman
6 Posted 06/07/2018 at 17:50:22
Get in touch with Kevin Kilbane – I love listening to his Tommy anecdotes, stuff like using a broken gutter to launch fireworks at the physios (probably had to be there).

Gravesen was a classy player who couldn't tackle to save his life which made Madrid poaching him off us as bizarre as it was disappointing.

Best of luck with the book.

Andrew Presly
7 Posted 06/07/2018 at 18:44:34
I was at Goodison after the match in about 2002 waiting for autographs, Tommy came out with a youth team player (Leon Osman!) and as they went to drive off shouted to all in earshot “He’s driving, I’m drinking!”

Look forward to the book.

Anton Walsh
8 Posted 07/07/2018 at 14:53:57
Last I heard he was brewstered and living the life in Las vegas
Andrew Grey
9 Posted 07/07/2018 at 21:02:44
Try and get in touch with James McFadden, he may have a few stories.

He mentions Gravesen in this interview:

Link

Jack Plant
10 Posted 08/07/2018 at 16:28:41
I remember when Martinez signed him, their manager saying they had been impressed by his ability to contribute going forwards and still have such a defensive impact. To this day, I wonder if they realised he and Carsley were different people.
Derek Thomas
12 Posted 11/07/2018 at 08:48:47
Jack @10; me too, I've always been convinced they meant Carsley and it all got lost in the translation... El Baldio, Si, Si.
Dave Abrahams
13 Posted 12/07/2018 at 19:01:15
Derek (12), do you think Real Madrid saw Carsley and still wanted him?
Paul Mackay
14 Posted 16/07/2018 at 21:46:59
The time he dislocated his finger whilst playing and the physio put it back into place, he didn’t even come off the pitch. Legend.

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