Kevin Thomas, who was Southport’s goalkeeper between 1974 and 1977 died at Trinity Hospice, Blackpool on 9th October, aged 78. He made 67 League appearances for Southport and was elected Player of the Year by fans in 1974-75.
Born at Whiston on 13th August 1944 Kevin Anthony Thomas was spotted playing for his local club, Prescot Town by former Southport player, Verdi Godwin who recommended him to Blackpool. Kevin signed as an Amateur in March 1966 turning professional three months later and made 12 League appearances over the next three seasons and a further 99 Central League appearances. He went on to play for Tranmere Rovers and Oxford United without gaining a regular place in either team.
After joining Southport in July 1974 Kevin proved an effective replacement for Alan Taylor missing only two matches in 1974-75 season. The following season he was an ever- present until a knee injury after a training accident in December 1975 put an end to his Football League career. Earlier in the season Kevin earned some unwanted publicity when Granada Television’s ‘Kick-off’ programme arranged for ‘Romark’, the stage hypnotist, to put the team, which was rock bottom of the Fourth Division, under the influence before a match with Watford. All went well until the end when Kevin, not fully out of the hypnosis, gashed his head on a girder !
Kevin’s last Football League game for Southport was at Crewe in February 1976 when he was far from fit. Following a cartilage operation, he was forced to retire on medical grounds at the end of 1976-77 season. He subsequently made a comeback with Barrow where he performed consistently for five seasons, playing with his leg strapped up throughout.
Back in Blackpool Kevin became a postman before retiring in 2009. He was an enthusiastic tennis player at the South Shore Club.
Our condolences go to Kevin’s widow Judy and daughter Justine. His funeral takes place at Carleton Crematorium on 27TH October at 2p.m.