A catch-up with... Thomas Gaardsoe

THOMAS Gaardsoe was back on The Hawthorns pitch for the first time in over a decade this week reliving his fabled days of the Great Escape and playing alongside Darren Moore.

WBA TV sat down for an in-depth chat with the acclaimed Danish defender to discuss all things Albion.

Tommy on the 'Great Escape' season...

"It was a tough season, everyone wrote us off at Christmas.

"But there was a good mentality in the squad. We had a trip to Orlando in February that helped the togetherness of the team.

"When we came back we thought 'we can do this'.

"It took us to the very final whistle on 'Survival Sunday' but we succeeded.

"It was just crazy - we needed three, four results to go our way.

"I remember the pitch invasion. It was unbelievable."

On the gaffer...

"I'm really pleased to see Darren in his new role.

"It's a big task - I think people were anxious about how the season would start.

"He's one of the biggest players and characters of this football club.

"Of course he has to learn how to manage a whole team - a whole club - but I think he's doing well.

"He was such a great leader and you can sense that he's brought that into management.

"He's got a presence and I'm not surprised where he is today.

"I really hope he will be successful here for many, many years."

On his move away from Albion...

"I was out of football for about a year.

"Nobody told me what was wrong with me - I just couldn't run, couldn't kick a ball.

"I thought I had to try again because I was only around 29.

"I hooked up with a really good physio in Copenhagen and fought back.

"I played back in Denmark but still suffered from lower-back issues.

"I retired in 2012 and now work as a player agent, keeping me within the game and I also do a little bit of coaching with my son.

"But it was great to be back at The Hawthorns. It's strange the fans still remember me - it's been 12 years or so!

"I'm honoured about that."

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