Charles Thomas, a player who went through Barcelona between 1970 and 1975, has reappeared now 40 years after he was left for dead. After retiring he had some very difficult years in which he fell into drugs and separated from his wife. Grew up the legend that he had passed away in a violent way, but Norman carmichael, a teammate in the Barça team, has revealed that Thomas is still alive. He spoke with him through a video call and, at 74 years old, is in a geriatric home in the town of Amarillo, Texas.

According to Carmichael’s account, a few days ago he received a call from a woman saying that Thomas wanted to speak to him. Of course, it was thought that it was a macabre jokebecause everyone considered the one who was supposed to be their interlocutor for dead. However, he agreed to speak to him and froze. “I was speechless the moment I saw his face on the video call. I recognized him by his smile and the way he spoke. He spoke to me very calmly and at no point did he try to convince me that it was him. He just wanted to talk to me “, he assures.

A career surrounded by legends

Thomas was one of the first Americans to play for Barcelona and a player with a very powerful physique. It is one of the pioneers in make great dunks in Spanish basketball. It is said that in a training session he a 1,000 pesetas bill on top of the board and he managed to catch it. His career is full of myths, as it is also said that the Barça club opted to sign him rather than a certain Lew Alcindor, later renamed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, because it would charge half.

The 2.01 meter American arrived in Spain to enroll in Sant Josep, where he stayed for two seasons. Barcelona was struck by his physical qualities and he joined him in 1970. In the Barça team he coincided with Aíto García Reneses, Manolo Flores and the aforementioned Carmichael, being Xabier Añua one of his coaches. After five seasons he left the team and had a brief passage through Manresa before returning to the United States, where it began its downward slope. It was so pronounced that for 40 years it has been left for dead. Fortunately, a former partner has ‘resurrected’ him.

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