Full Name: Tommy Anton Christensen
Born: 20 July 1961, Hillerød (Denmark)
Transferred from: N/A – Non Contract
Previous Clubs: Leicester City, Elche CF (Spa), AGF (Den), PSV Eindhoven (Hol), AGF (Den), Ebeltoft IF (Den), Lillerød IF (Den)
Pompey Debut: 03 December 1985 v Bradford City (L 1-2)
First Pompey Goal: 07 December 1985 v Sunderland (W 3-1)
Games: 4 (3 League, 1 Cup)
Goals: 2 (League)
Final Game: 14 December 1985 v Hull City (D 1-1)
Transferred to: N/A – Non Contract
Subsequent Clubs: Brøndby IF (Den), Vejle Boldklub (Den), Eintracht Braunsweig (Ger)
Former Danish international Tommy Christensen started his career as a youth player with local amateur sides Lillerød IF and Ebeltoft IF but it was a move to Aarhus Gymnastikforening (AGF) which was to set him on the road to relative stardom.
No sooner had the blonde haired 17 year old made his AGF debut (a game against Hvidovre in which he scored twice) then he was offered professional terms with Dutch Champions & UEFA Cup Winners PSV Eindhoven.
Christensen spent the next two seasons refining his game in The Netherlands but a series of injuries inhibited him from holding down a regular first team place so he returned to his former club (AGF) where despite missing a number of games due to muscle damage, he managed to become their top scorer and help them achieve their most successful period for two decades.
Although Christensen’s form was recognised by Danish National Manager Sepp Piontek, injuries constantly kept the young Dane out of the international reckoning. Christensen was however rewarded with an substitute appearance in an Olympic Games Qualifier against Finland in June 1983 but further injuries and the form of a 19 year old ‘legend in the making’ Michael Laudrup (who had just been sold by Brondby to Serie A champions Juventus for the highest fee in Danish football history) meant that further opportunities for Tommy were sparse.
Having been successful for a second time in his homeland, Christensen decided to try his luck abroad again, this time in Spain, but an injury hit first season saw the 24 year old play just 6 games for La Liga’s newly promoted Elche. The season ended with Elche relegated and injury prone Christensen out of contract.
In November 1985 Christensen was offered a month long non-contract trial at First Division Leicester City but after just two appearances was deemed too much of a injury risk and was released. Second Division table topping Portsmouth were next in line to show an interest when Alan Ball offered similar terms to that of Leicester
Tommy Christensen made his Portsmouth debut at Bradford City’s temporary home ‘The Odsal Stadium’ on a foggy December evening in 1985 and although Pompey were defeated 2-1 Christensen gave a lively display – even scoring what was thought to be a last minute equaliser until, as the players celebrated, referee Joe Worrall disallowed the goal stating that he had blown before the ball crossed the line.
Christensen didn’t have to wait long to try and impress again however, as just four days later he sent a scorching 25 yard volley into the Roker Park net to help defeat Sunderland 3-1 and end Pompey’s four game losing streak to ensure they stayed top of the table.
With Christensen having made his first two appearances away from Fratton Park the majority of Pompey fans had to wait until his third game, a League Cup 4th Round 2nd Replay against First Division Spurs to assess Christensen for themselves. The Dane did not disappoint. In what was to be his finest performance for the Fratton Club Christensen worked tirelessly to give an experienced Tottenham back-four something to think about all evening and although he failed to add his name to the score-sheet his performance more than contributed to Pompey’s historic 1-0 victory.
Christensen bagged what was to be his only Fratton Park goal just four days later as Pompey drew 1-1 with Hull City, but just as Pompey fans were celebrating the arrival of a new hero Alan Ball announced that Christensen had sustained a rib injury and as a result his trial had come to a premature end.
Following the disappointment of not securing a contract with Portsmouth, Christensen once again returned to his homeland, this time to Brondby, but a player with an injury jinxed career proved little use to the club in the midst of dominating Danish football.
Further moves to Vejle Boldklub (Denmark) and German Second Division outfit Eintracht Braunsweig although producing goals, did little to enhance Christensen’s career or prevent him from injury. In June 1989 after 10 years as a professional footballer Tommy Christensen retired from the game, aged just 27.
After retiring Christensen embarked of on a new career and in doing so became Denmark’s first ex-professional footballer to successfully re-train in another profession – Refrigeration!
Having studied at the Danish Craftsman School Christensen was awarded a national industry gold medal for his apprenticeship work and was named 1993 Danish Apprentice of the Year
In addition to his new career, 2001 saw Christensen (together with the Laudrup brothers) launched ‘Showstars’ an entertainment event which mixes an exhibition match involving the greatest footballers in Danish history with a music concert by the greatest musicians from the country’s past!
Other Interesting Facts:
Tommy Christensen may be classified as a Danish international but in reality his international career was very short lived. Having represented his county a dozen times at schoolboy and youth levels he was awarded his first full cap on 22 June 1983 when he came off the bench during Denmark`s Olympic Qualifier against Finland. Although Tommy was credited with an assist when he set up Michael Laudrup to secure the Danes 3-0 victory what the record books also show is Tommy entered the field of play on 87 minutes. Given that he did not play for his country again his full International career amounts to just 180 seconds !
In 1987 Christensen played in a sponsored mid season tournament for Brondby. Having beaten Shanghai in the semi final Brondby went onto to beat a Hong Kong XI 2-0 to claim the Carlsberg Cup. In goal for Brondy during the tournament was an up and coming goalkeeper by the name of Peter Schmeichel
In July 1999, 15 years after Tommy Christensen had been released by Alan Ball Pompey played Bournemouth in pre-season friendly. Alongside Luke Nightingale, Sammy Igoe and Guy Whittingham, the Pompey manager trialled a Danish striker from Danish club AGF – His name? Tommy Christensen. The manager? Alan Ball!
Season by season games played via PompeyRama
Milky Magic – Pompey v Spurs 1985
Vital Pompey Author Chix
Statistics provided by: PompeyRama.com
Date: April 2009