Born: 10.09.1950 in Lillestrøm
If you ask someone who lived in the 1970s to name the best Norwegian player ever, there's a good chance that person will answer Tom Lund. A playmaker in the Johan Cruyff mold, Tommy dominated the domestic league in the late '70s and early '80s. And he did it all at Lillestrøm. Despite playing in an era when playing professionally abroad had become an acceptable way to make a living, even to the Norwegian football authorities, and despite the fact that he was wanted by several of Europe's top clubs, Tommy remained loyal to Lillestrøm throughout his entire career. Today, a statue of Tom Lund stands outside the Åråsen stadium.
Tom Lund first rose to prominence in the late 1960s, when Lillestrøm were still playing in the third division. Despite playing in the third division, word spread quickly about the youngster who was blowing away the opposition, and he might have made his full international debut as early as 1969, when he was selected to the national squad, but turned the opportunity down, because he didn't believe he was ready for the national team just yet. There would be other opportunities.
Lund was still playing in the third division in 1971, when coach øivind Johannessen once again called up the Lillestrøm wizard for the friendly against Iceland. This time, Tommy accepted the invitation, and wasted no time proving himself at the highest level. He played six more internationals that year, was a regular in the side by 1973, and when Lillestrøm were finally promoted to the first division in 1974, Tommy had already played 23 full internationals, scoring five goals - and he had turned down a transfer to Dutch giants Ajax.
As expected, Tom Lund had no problems making his mark in the top flight. In his debut season, he almost single-handedly led Lillestrøm to the top of the table at the halfway point. Then he got injured and missed the second half of the season. As a result, Lillestrøm had dropped to seventh place when the 1975 season came to a close. Tommy would get his revenge the next year, when he led Lillestrøm to their first-ever league championship. The Canaries were even more dominant in 1977, as Tommy and his teammates led the league from start to finish and won the league a record eight points ahead of second-placed Bodø/Glimt. At the end of that season, Tommy would then shock the nation by announcing his retirement from the national team, and with the exception of a single appearance in 1979, he spent nearly four years in a self-imposed exile.
Why did Tom Lund turn down the opportunity to play for Ajax, and why did he quit the national team in his prime? Part of the reason is probably due to the fact that Tommy was happy and content to stay at the place he called home. Another reason is probably his fear of flying. When the national team played away matches, or when Lillestrøm played in Europe, Tommy would usually drive across the continent rather than fly. Either that, or drop out of the squad. Throughout his international career, he rarely played in friendly matches outside Scandinavia or Northern Europe.
In 1981, national team coach Tor Røste Fossen finally managed to persuade Tom Lund to return to the national team - and Tommy did not disappoint. He was as brilliant as ever, and was a key player in Norway's famous win against England that autumn. He was also a key player when Norway made a good start in the Euro 84 qualifying campaign, highlighted by the impressive win against Yugoslavia, where Tommy scored a goal and was the best player on the pitch. However, Tommy always did things his way, and at the end of the 1982 season - following yet another excellent season at Lillestrøm, and with Norway having possibly their best chance to reach a major championship since the 1938 World Cup - Tom Lund decided he was done with football, and retired from the game. Maybe it was a coincidence, but without their playmaker, Norway crumbled the next year and finished last in the qualifying group.
Between 1985 and 1988, and again in 1990, Tom Lund was Lillestrøm's head coach. He did not reach the same heights as a coach as he did as a player, but he did lead the Canaries to a Cup title in 1985, and the league in 1986. However, he also nearly got the team relegated in 1987. Today, he holds an administrative job at the club.
National Team Appearances
|2||09.06.1971||Oslo||Bulgaria||1-4||European Champ. Qual.|
|7||08.09.1971||Oslo||France||1-3||European Champ. Qual.|
|9||03.08.1972||Stavanger||Iceland||4-1||World Cup Qualifier|
|11||06.06.1973||Oslo||Republic of Ireland||1-1|
|14||02.08.1973||Reykjavik||Iceland||4-0||World Cup Qualifier|
|15||12.09.1973||Oslo||Netherlands||1-2||World Cup Qualifier|
|17||31.10.1973||Brussels||Belgium||0-2||World Cup Qualifier|
|22||04.09.1974||Oslo||Northern Ireland||2-1||European Champ. Qual.|
|23||30.10.1974||Belgrade||Yugoslavia||1-3||European Champ. Qual.|
|24||15.05.1975||Helsinki||Finland||5-3||Olympic Games Qual.|
|25||09.06.1975||Oslo||Yugoslavia||1-1||European Champ. Qual.|
|27||16.06.1976||Stockholm||Sweden||0-2||World Cup Qualifier|
|29||08.09.1976||Oslo||Switzerland||1-0||World Cup Qualifier|
|32||07.09.1977||Oslo||Sweden||2-1||World Cup Qualifier|
|33||30.10.1977||Bern||Switzerland||0-1||World Cup Qualifier|
|34||09.05.1979||Oslo||Portugal||0-1||European Champ. Qual.|
|35||20.05.1981||Oslo||Hungary||1-2||World Cup Qualifier|
|36||17.06.1981||Oslo||Switzerland||1-1||World Cup Qualifier|
|38||09.09.1981||Oslo||England||2-1||World Cup Qualifier|
|40||31.10.1981||Budapest||Hungary||1-4||World Cup Qualifier|
|45||22.09.1982||Swansea||Wales||0-1||European Champ. Qual.|
|46||13.10.1982||Oslo||Yugoslavia||3-1||European Champ. Qual.|
|47||27.10.1982||Sofia||Bulgaria||2-2||European Champ. Qual.|
NOTE: Matches in red are not recognized as full internationals by FIFA.
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