Tommy Holmes had such an accomplished football career it is difficult to know where to start when writing about it.
How about ‘a defender who twice faced Liverpool in the Uefa Champions League’ or ‘a man who played a major role in minnows Prestatyn Town making European history’.
And then there are the four Welsh Premier League titles he won with The New Saints.
Born on September 1, 1979, the player affectionately nicknamed Tosh is 42 today.
Tommy is currently assistant-manager of Cymru North club Ruthin Town, working alongside Philly Hudson. Prior to that, the pair had a successful three-year spell in charge of tier 3 Brymbo.
As a player, Tommy started out with Tranmere Rovers before former boss Ken McKenna signed him for The New Saints in July 2000.
He went on to make 266 full Welsh Premier appearances for the full-timers and played more than 400 games in all for the club, where he spent 11 years.
Tommy was prominent in the club’s Welsh Premier title successes in 2004-05, 2005-06, 2006-07 and 2009-10, won the Welsh Cup and FAW Premier Cup once, plus the League Cup on three occasions in green and white hoops.
In TNS colours, Tommy also figured in eight Champions League games, including both legs against Liverpool in 2005-06, and nine UEFA and Europa League matches.
Holmes was TNS supporters’ player of the season for 2008/9.
After leaving the Saints in 2011, Tommy went on to join Prestatyn Town, then an up and coming Welsh Premier outfit.
July 2013 saw him play in the Seasiders team which clinched victory in their first-ever European tie when they won 2-1 in Latvia against Liepajas Metalurgs, making it 3-3 on aggregate before the North Walians went on to triumph in a penalty shoot-out.
Tommy later had stints at Airbus and Buckley Town prior to becoming assistant-manager at Conwy Borough in 2015.
Spells as assistant to Philly Hudson at Brymbo and Ruthin Town have followed.
Not only a fine player, Tommy also possesses a bubbly, inspirational personality which has lit up many a changing room.
The beautiful game runs in the family as brother Danny has won Cymru Premier titles with TNS and Connah’s Quay Nomads, as well as representing Tranmere Rovers and Newport County in the Football League.
Another Holmes brother, Jamie, also turned out for Connah’s Quay.
But today is all about Tommy Holmes, a great defender and superb character who is a very popular and respected figure in North Wales football.
Happy birthday Tosh.