Rumbustuous left back who was unsurprisingly brought in by George Graham, but when the manager was sacked the defender hardly fitted the ball-playing style of his new manager Glenn Hoddle. Thatcher failed to justify the big fee paid for him and spent his time at the club confirming his "hard man" reputation, with only a handful of games played and much of the time out injured or suspended.
Thatcher was a student at the FA's School of Excellence at Lilleshall and attended Christ's Church University in Canterbury for two years, managing to represent the University at football and go on to play for the English Universities side, but did not reach such pinnacles academically.
Joined the professional ranks after graduating from university and signed on at Millwall in 1992, making his debut in the following season and going on to make a name for himself as a hard tackling defender and falling under the national spotlight when he was part of the George Graham Lions' side that performed a comprehensive giant-killing to beat Arsenal at Highbury in the FA Cup. Won the 1996 Player of the Year award at the club and promptly left for Wimbledon in a move worth about £1.84 million.
Worked as part of the Crazy Gang at Selhurst Park and fitted in well with the system played by the Dons. Despite being part of the side that was relegated at the end of the 1999-2000 season, George Graham had been so impressed by him that he paid £5 million for him to bring him to Spurs. A strange signing, as he had been remembered by some Spurs fans as being sent off for Wimbledon in the 6-2 "must win" game for Spurs at Selhurst Park in 1998, for a high tackle on Allan Nielsen.
Indeed, he did not disappoint in getting sent off for two pointless fouls when they beat Sunderland in 2000 as an indication of his struggle to fit into a footballing side. Played in the side that lost to Blackburn Rovers in the League Cup final of 2002 and it was a rare appearance as he failed to fit into Hoddle's way of playing and in 2003, he was signed by Leicester City for £300,000 as Spurs cut their losses and moved Thatcher on. He wasted little time in criticising Hoddle's management style, but his stay at Leicester was even shorter, lasting only one season before he returned to the Premier League with Manchester City.
While he started well, soon injuries and the young players coming through and impressing kept him out of the side and this continued for two seasons. Hit by a series of burglaries, a move to Fulham was almost completed as he struggled to settle in the North West, but the real controversy of his time at Eastlands was when he was playing at home against Portsmouth in 2006. With another former Spur, Pedro Mendes, letting the ball run out of play, Thatcher steamed into a challenge with excessive force and the use of an elbow that took the Portuguese midfielder into the advertising boards surrounding the pitch. Mendes needed long medical attention and oxygen and suffered a seizure when in hospital, but recovered within a couple of days, although had to be medically monitored for a while after. The spotlight fell on Thatcher for all the wrong reasons and City suspended him for six games and fined him two weeks wages, while the FA banned him for a further eight games, with a fifteen game ban suspended for two years, should he repeat the same sort of incident.
The Greater Manchester Police looked into the incident, but did not take action and they were called again when Thatcher clashed with a Blackburn Rovers player in a reserve game in 2006. In between he had left a Chinese player with a collapsed lung following a challenge in a pre-season friendly. Fell out of the first team reckoning and was sold off to Charlton Athletic in January 2007 for £500,000, playing irregularly over two seasons before being allowed to leave for Ipswich Town on a free transfer.
His one year deal was extended, but in February 2010, manager Roy Keane fell out with the defender as he would not move closer to the Suffolk club and his contract was terminated.
Since then, Thatcher has failed to find a new club.