Midweek Sport - - FRONT PAGE - By JON LIVESEY

NOW the footie sea­son has kicked off you can en­joy watch­ing the sport’s pam­pered prima don­nas.

But in our ‘Head The Balls’ fea­ture, we’re re­mind­ing you of the vi­o­lent nut­ters, randy rebels and pea­cock­ing play­boys who over the years have graced the beau­ti­ful game with their pres­ence.

Ev­ery week we’ll be look­ing at a dif­fer­ent one of the sport’s most men­tal mav­er­icks.

And this week it’s the man chris­tened The Welsh Ge­orge Best – Mickey Thomas.

Emerg­ing from his prison stretch with lit­tle money or prospects, Thomas played non­league football in Wales un­til he was 41 and now works as a pun­dit on the ra­dio.

He also works the af­ter­dinner speak­ing cir­cuit, where his open­ing joke is: “Roy Keane was on 50 grand a week. So was I un­til the po­lice found my print­ing ma­chine.”

Speak­ing in 1996, Thomas said: “I love the game, but I just wanted to play on Satur­day for a lo­cal team in North Wales where there was no pres­sure. I didn’t like the big-time.

“A lot of times in my ca­reer I just wanted to pack up. I just wanted to en­joy my­self.”

HAIR TO­DAY: Mickey in his United days and play­ing in a re­cent Masters tour­na­ment

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