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Category: The Ex-Files

Robbo: Tackling Depression in Football

Robbo: Tackling Depression in Football

It is easy to forget that modern day footballers are humans too. But too often this becomes overlooked, all too often we associate a player off form as one who doesn’t care, as a twenty-something who has no sense of the real world, no drive or determination. If a player’s performance starts to dip, we immediately question his loyalty, whether or not he is angling for a move away or he simply sees himself as more than the club. It…

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Geoff Thomas Remembers Graham Taylor

Geoff Thomas Remembers Graham Taylor

Ex England and Crystal Palace midfielder, Geoff Thomas, has every reason to speak harshly of Graham Taylor, but he doesn’t. Geoff’s infamous miss against France left Graham Taylor a decision to make. One on one with the goalkeeper, Thomas decided to chip it but he got his angles wrong and it went horribly wide. It would prove to be Geoff’s last game in an England shirt. ‘Graham may have thought that I would crack in the next game. Would I…

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Robbo: A Tribute to Graham Taylor

Robbo: A Tribute to Graham Taylor

Sent back to the reserves with no explanation, Paul Robinson would often be found scratching his head, trying to figure out what he had done so wrong? The answer would often be nothing, or if there was a reason, Paul would never find out. It was just the way Graham Taylor worked. Having trained with the first team, all of a sudden, Robbo would find himself going on loan to a non-league side. ‘He (Taylor) wanted you to learn, he…

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Robbo: Cleaning Boots is a Thing of the Past

Robbo: Cleaning Boots is a Thing of the Past

‘Robbo! Robbo!’ The dreaded shout. It meant a 17-year-old Paul Robinson hadn’t done his job properly. Robbo had clearly missed a spot on Andy Hessenthaler boots. A young Paul knew all too well, the consequences. ‘Forfeits, it might be two minutes in the ice bath, or strapped to the goal posts covered in boot polish, we were made to pay.’ These were the good old days. The days when players had respect for their elders. When academy players knew their…

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Robbo: Stepping into the Dugout

Robbo: Stepping into the Dugout

Paul Robinson was never going to hang up his boots and simply retire. He was always going to be involved in the game. Paul reveals that he always had an eye on management. As he reached the twilight of his career, Paul had completed his coaching badges and was already making the transition from player to coach. Even as a player, Paul was forever soaking up the manager’s ideas. ‘You’re thinking when one day you want to become a manager,…

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Geoff Thomas: Proud to be Palace

Geoff Thomas: Proud to be Palace

Geoff Thomas talks about the time he led Crystal Palace out at Wembley. The great Sir Alex Ferguson was under pressure to win a trophy. The game that followed, would go down as one of the most memorable FA Cup finals ever. Palace ran Manchester United so close. Had Mark Hughes not popped up, it would have been The Eagles’ name on the famous trophy. Please follow & like us 🙂

Defying the Final Whistle

Defying the Final Whistle

A tough-tackling midfielder, Geoff Thomas loved nothing more than a challenge, during his career. But, nothing could have prepared him for the one he faced, once he retired. Geoff was diagnosed with leukaemia. He explains that, in his time of need, football played a blinder. Simon Jordan, was first to step in. The Palace chairman offered his help but Geoff was unable, to accept his offer. ‘I knew I had two really hard years ahead of me, if I knew…

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Up for the Cup

Up for the Cup

Ever since Geoff Thomas battled leukaemia, he has been a tireless fundraiser. His latest event, Copa del Leukaemia, is a five a side football tournament, taking place at St George’s.   How did it Happen?   The concept came to Geoff after he had been given a tour of the national football centre by the current England manager. ‘Gareth Southgate and Aidy Boothroyd, showed us around the facilities at St George’s, and we just came up with an idea.’ Geoff…

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Once a Blue, Always a Blue!

Once a Blue, Always a Blue!

Geoff Thomas was born a blue. He lived and breathed Manchester City. His house was quite literally a stone’s throw away from Maine Road. ‘At the end of our road, you could see the floodlights, every time City played, you could hear the crowd and the roar, you just got wrapped up in it.’   Buoyed by the noise on match day,  he would often sneak into the ground. ‘With about 20 minutes to go, they used to open the gates,…

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