A highly rated and exciting full back, who could play on either flank, Danny Thomas was the player Tottenham had been looking for to fill the gap at right back. Unfortunately, his time at White Hart Lane was brief with his career ended by a horror tackle from QPR's Gavin Maguire in March 1987.
Originally, Danny was a midfielder with Coventry City, but needs required him to turn out as a full back in a game against Aston Villa in 1980 and there he stayed. Such was his success, that the substitute's appearance in August became a permanent move to defence and he was also selected for England Under-21s.
Thomas showed some adventure from the full back berth and relished getting forward, scoring a cracking goal against Ipswich Town and also providing crosses from his over-lapping runs. With Coventry having a good crop of young players brought through by manager Dave Sexton, Danny stood out among them all and in November 1982, he was called up for the full England squad.
However, the team began to struggle and in May 1983, Sexton was the inevitable victim as he was sacked by the Coventry board. This upset Danny Thomas and he wanted out after the man who had given him his chance had been axed. Having won two England caps in a summer tour in Australia, Tottenham moved for the young man and snapped him up for £250,000. A full back with an attacking sensibility, Thomas' pace allowed him to get back to do his defensive job after his over-lapping forays and he possessed a fearsome shot on him when he got within range of goal. But most of all, despite the troubles he suffered during his time in the game, Danny always played the game with a smile on his face and was a firm crowd favourite because of that. His tigerish defending won him many admirers in the Spurs crowd and his crossing created many opportunities for the Spurs strikers and Thomas made 27 league appearances in his first season with the club.
During 1983-84, Danny had been troubled by minor injuries, which has stemmed the flow of games he had taken part in, but he was fit by the end of the season and played his part in the UEFA Cup Final. The final ended in a penalty shoot-out and with Tony Parks having saved a penalty, it was Danny Thomas that stepped up to take the spot-kick that would have won the Cup for Spurs. But his penalty was pushed out by Munaron and with his head bowed, the Spurs full back traipsed back to the centre circle. The sight of him trudging back to the centre-circle after he had the opportunity to win the game for Spurs was a sad one, while the Spurs crowd sang his name in support. A Tony Parks save meant his miss did not matter in the end and he won a medal in his first season at Spurs.
In the following season, Danny suffered injuries that kept out out for periods of the season and it was the start of the 1985-86 season that he resumed his right back role on a regular basis, scoring in the second game of the season at Oxford United with a trademark drive.
The tackle that was to end his footballing career came in a home game to Queens Park Rangers and the rest of the team were determined to go on and win the FA Cup for their stricken colleague. The tackle was late and unnecessarily forceful in my opinion, leaving Danny writhing in agony on the turf with his knee ligaments and dreams shattered at the age of 26.
However, after having to retire from the game, he had an out of court settlement of £130,000 for the injury and he used some of that to train to be a physiotherapist specialising in sports injuries and for a while was the club physio at West Bromwich Albion. Later Thomas went into private practice in the Midlands.
Always a popular figure at Spurs, he often attended matches, sitting in with the home support and always got a warm ovation as the crowd knew he was a little man who could have had a big career at THFC.