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Alan "Thommo" Thomas

It came with great sadness to hear of the sudden loss of our friend Alan Thomas in the early hours of 29th August. Old Mo Fitmen Chairman, Tony Caesar, remembers the great character of “Thommo”:

Alan ‘Thommo’ Thomas

I can’t recall when I first met Thommo, but it must have been in the mid 1990s when one of my sons was playing for Moseley Rugby Minis. It sort of morphed into a weekend friendship that lasted almost 25 years without knowing it had started.

For at least the last decade we’d bump in to each other pretty much every weekend (winter Saturdays at the rugby or summer Sundays at the cricket) and share at least a pint…usually more. During those glorious crossover periods in April/May and August/September it was twice a weekend - I wonder how many pints we bought each other?

I last saw him at the Moseley v Coventry game just a week ago, and a couple of weeks before that at Moseley Ashfield Cricket Club as he gently took the mick over cheap wickets or our comedy fielding. Of course, he was first in line to praise the good stuff; usually someone else as far as I recall!

As those who knew Thommo could imagine, I had no exclusive access to him. During even those five minute conversations outside the drying room at Billesley, there’d be an interruption, a hug, a handshake, a kiss…”alright boy”…”alright darling”. On each and every Moseley match day he shook more hands than royalty.

When news came through on Sunday that he was in the QE, without exception my cricket team were alarmed and concerned. Some had only met him a couple of times, others had known him for years. He had the knack (he couldn’t really help it) of being your best pal whether he’d met you for the first time or the hundredth time.

We had a few (as few as half a dozen times over 25 years!) frank discussions about wicket preparation, or some sport related incident that we disagreed on, but however the conversation went, all was ‘re-set’ and forgotten before the next time we met. If he held grudges, then he didn’t let on.

I don’t think I saw him play rugby, although I might have done without realising in the late 70s. I certainly saw the genes he passed on to Oliver and heard of the high regard all those that did see him play held him in.

He denied any knowledge of cricket – but of course in reality knew the game well. Even though he hadn’t played (as far as I know) he must have watched hundreds if not thousands of matches – often played on the pitches he prepared. But woe betide anyone who sprinkled too much sawdust on a damp popping crease…”what are you pair of chuckle brothers doing?”

His sporting passion (as we all know) was of course rugby, and mainly in shirts that were at least partly red! A welsh player in a Moseley jersey was the best of the best.

Of course, his real passion was human beings…any and all. He was always the first in the queue to support a cause, invariably connected with the rugby or cricket club. If you needed some help – look no further.

Thommo was a wonderful human being who added a sparkle to your life. He was humanity at its best. They don’t come along very often and I was proud to be a friend.