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Irish Hammer 3:45 Thu Sep 30
Article on the Tominator, An ode to Tomas Repka
This will have mixed comments ! For me I liked him. At right full he wasn’t a bad player and gave it his all. I was at his last game for the club, complete with outrageous goals by Anton and Yossi. He got a great send off after.

Leaving the Queens later that night my mate and I were walking past the ground and seen this burgundy coloured Bentley coming out of the carpark, Repka at the wheel. Must have been saying his goodbyes to players and staff etc. We give him a wave and the crossed irons sign, he immediately stops the car, reverses it 20 meters up the road to us both, rolls the window down and shakes our hands and thanks us for the gesture. A good bloke I reckon.

An ode to Tomas Repka at West Ham: The angriest footballer in history

Anger is one of life’s most misunderstood emotions.

We often describe someone as ‘angry’ when ‘frustrated’, ‘irritated’ or ‘annoyed’ would be more appropriate. Most of us feel angry only occasionally, the rarity enhancing the intensity of which we experience the descending of the red mist.

Yet for Tomas Repka the state of anger was permanent. Despite playing in Serie A and the Premier League and enjoying a seven-year international career with the Czech Republic, Repka was notorious for his furious outbursts that made Roy Keane appear kitten-like by comparison.

With more loose screws than an entire B&Q outlet, the defender lived his life just as intensely off the field. Scientists estimate that Repka has only experienced a handful of quiet nights throughout his entire existence.

Making his name during the dissolution of Czechoslovakia in the 1990s, Repka was noted for his prodigious heading ability and crunching tackles. Already known for wearing his heart on his sleeve, he missed the Czech Republic’s run to the Euro 96 final after receiving a two-match ban for being sent off before the tournament.

This full-bodied commitment caught the eye of Fiorentina. Moving to Tuscany in 1998, Repka joined the likes of Francesco Toldo, Manuel Rui Costa, Gabriel Batistuta and Nuno Gomes during what was arguably the club’s most evocative era.

Repka proved to be the salt in a delicious stew during his spell in Italy. Sent off six times across three seasons with Fiorentina, Repka cemented his reputation for hot-headedness. Any man prepared to square up to Pierluigi Collina deserves our utmost respect for sheer reckless naivety.

With their own reputation for hot-headedness and a fanbase with an indulgence of lunatic skinheads, it was no surprise that Repka attracted the attention of West Ham United. Signed in the summer of 2001, the Hammers believed this was the man who’d provide the defensive steel that would allow young starlets like Joe Cole, Michael Carrick and Jermain Defoe to flourish.

These hopes ignored all precedents from Repka’s career to date. Sent off on his debut at Middlesbrough, Repka was also expelled from the field during a 7-1 spanking at Blackburn – his third appearance for the club.

In his match report for The Guardian, Daniel Taylor delivered a line of tinder-dry brilliance: “If he makes it a hat-trick in his next outing, one wonders whether he’ll get to take the referee home.”

Things deteriorated to the extent that, after another sending off against Fulham on Boxing Day 2002, Jon Brodkin wrote in The Guardian that Repka “would not be missed if he never played for West Ham again.”

After re-defining the word anger, Repka was providing a free jazz interpretation of the term ‘liability’.

Yet by the time of his departure, Repka had become something of a cult figure at Upton Park. Relegated in 2003 with a record-high 42 points, which ensured a fire sale of the club’s family silver, Repka remained loyal to West Ham during their spell in second-tier purgatory.

Crucially, he was moved to right-back under Alan Pardew, where his frequent outbursts were less detrimental to the club’s form. True, he was sent off for a headbutt during a miserable home defeat to Preston in March 2005, but Repka gradually cleaned up his game and allowed his defensive fortitude to speak for itself.

Despite this, it would be a stretch to call Repka a tamed beast. Neil Mellor only spent a few months at West Ham, but much of that time was focused on ensuring he stayed on the right side of his wild team-mate.

In an interview with The Sportsman, Mellor said: “The only person I saw get on the wrong side of him was a car valet man who crashed his car just before Christmas. The car was a £100,000 Ferrari, so it wasn’t ideal. It took about 10 of us to stop Repka from filling in this car valet man!”

After helping West Ham regain their Premier League status, Repka departed for Sparta Prague in January 2006. During his final home match, under the floodlights against Fulham, chants of “one Tomas Repka” reverberated around Upton Park. This was enough to move Repka, a man who was chiselled rather than born, to tears.

He did not mellow after returning to his homeland. Some of his more notable incidents included attacking match officials and a cameraman in 2007, being caught cheating on his long-term partner with a Playboy model and the usual collection of red cards and incapacitated opponents.

With tattoos covering his body, this is not someone you’d wish to bump into down a darkened alley.

He’s also been sent to prison on two occasions. In August 2018, Repka received a six-month jail sentence for advertising sexual services on the internet in the name of his ex-wife, although this was later reduced to a community sentence order.

Then, in February 2019, he was sentenced to 15 months in jail for fraud after selling a luxury rental car he didn’t own. Later that month, two previous suspended sentences for driving under the influence were converted into jail terms due to his other convictions.

Put simply, Tomas Repka has spent his entire life one misplaced look away from outrage. Goodness knows how high his blood pressure must be at any given moment.

Yet given the banality of most of our lives, we cannot help but have a begrudging respect for Repka and the full-bodied commitment to living life to its most extreme.

Admittedly, that’s about the only thing we’d dare say to his face.

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

Far Cough 4:31 Thu Oct 7
Re: Article on the Tominator, An ode to Tomas Repka
Even though he was a walking red card, I liked him

There, I've said it

Sniper 4:14 Thu Oct 7
Re: Article on the Tominator, An ode to Tomas Repka
Yes that’s right, I stand corrected - he got booked for a foul earlier in the game and was arguing over absolutely nothing at the end. It might even have been a shepherding the ball into touch thing and he wanted. Agree kick instead of a goal kick or something. It was such a nothing moment I don’t think anyone was paying much attention until he kept arguing - in fairness the ref gave him so many warnings. It was so stupid he got booed off. I think because of other red cards he’d had that year it got him a longer ban as well even though it was for two yellows.

Sven Roeder 2:48 Thu Oct 7
Re: Article on the Tominator, An ode to Tomas Repka
Sniper
I may be wrong but my recollection of the Fulham red card was that he had been previously booked and thought he had been fouled as the ball went back to our keeper.
So we had the ball and he argued his way into a second yellow over a totally irrelevant point.
He had talent but was obviously several sandwiches short of a picnic

ironskej 12:00 Thu Oct 7
Re: Article on the Tominator, An ode to Tomas Repka
He was a poor mans' Coufal

ludo21 11:24 Thu Oct 7
Re: Article on the Tominator, An ode to Tomas Repka
I liked Repka a lot... I like players that the opposition can't take liberties with and wear their hearts on their sleeve and Repka was certainly one of those.

And it wasn't 'one Tomas Repka' that brought him to tears, it was 'Supa, supa Tom'... it was a good send off.

chevy chase 3:24 Thu Oct 7
Re: Article on the Tominator, An ode to Tomas Repka
Not going into too much detail but my cousin worked with his uncle in wapping. He had to flee Czechoslovakia during the uprising against the soviets. He was allegedly one of the blokes throwing Molotov cocktails at the Russian tanks. They still have him on there hit list.

mallard 8:21 Wed Oct 6
Re: Article on the Tominator, An ode to Tomas Repka
His best season was his final one, I often wonder if things would have been different had he stayed for the FA Cup Final!

His red cards in the relegation season definitely had a small contribution to us finishing one win below relegation.

I believe his ‘Cult’ status was due to fans respecting any passionate player that got stuck in

Eerie Descent 8:07 Wed Oct 6
Re: Article on the Tominator, An ode to Tomas Repka
Russ, you've not considered the context.

Sniper 6:42 Wed Oct 6
Re: Article on the Tominator, An ode to Tomas Repka
My one big lasting memory of him, which I think summed him up quite nicely, was Boxing Day 2002 against Fulham. He’d had an alright game, but did a typical Repka style foul on one of their players and got booked (deservedly). He then argued with the ref about it. The ref (I think intel’s dermot Gallagher) told him to stop. He carried on. The ref kept telling him to stop. But he just kept going. It seemed to go on for about five minutes, until eventually, with a sort of resigned shrug, the ref brought out a second yellow and sent him off. This was in injury time, and was utterly pointless, totally needless and fucked us over for the next few games and undermined any good work he’d done

And that is Repka in a nutshell

Russ of the BML 5:23 Wed Oct 6
Re: Article on the Tominator, An ode to Tomas Repka
I liked him. I realised his limitations but do remember him having some excellent games. Nobody fucked with him and if a few other players had had his spirit we may have be alright.

Wasn't a natural right back and always played as a right sided CB in a 3. Generally his performances were very good but I think his bad games were so bad that it over-shadows his time with us.

For Eerie to say he is one of the worst signings ever made is just absolutely fucking ridiculous. No disrespect.

Stubbo 4:41 Wed Oct 6
Re: Article on the Tominator, An ode to Tomas Repka
I liked Repka. Was generally excellent at right back in a time when we were pretty poor defensively across the board.

Had his name on a replica shirt (was of an age where replica shirts were acceptable).

If we'd had a couple more Repka's at the time and a few less Gary Breen's (as well as manager who had more than one tenth of a clue, RIP Roeder) maybe we'd have stayed up 02/03.

gph 4:06 Wed Oct 6
Re: Article on the Tominator, An ode to Tomas Repka
Repka regarded an opponent knocking the ball past him as a personal insult, and usually dished out a foul if that happened. Even if the opponent pushed it too far and a West Ham player got the ball.

At one time, it looked like Repka was going for the record number of stupid fouls.

zico 3:11 Wed Oct 6
Re: Article on the Tominator, An ode to Tomas Repka
Can you imagine Repka on the right and Dicks on the left. Would havev ended up with nine men most weeks!

Eerie Descent 1:01 Wed Oct 6
Re: Article on the Tominator, An ode to Tomas Repka
Spot on, eusebivoc.

And we wasted a similar amount on UN-Deadly Don Hutchison. As I said, with the context of what went on to happen, absolutely disastrous signings.

eusebiovic 12:49 Wed Oct 6
Re: Article on the Tominator, An ode to Tomas Repka
In the 70's/80's he would have been an absolute legend but he was an absolute liability more often than not while he was here.

He was a right back - first and foremost. At Fiorentina he did play on the right of a 3 man defence but at that time Serie A was still a pretty conservative and defensive league.

To spend £5million on him and expect him to be a useful centre back with the walking disaster Dailly at his side - who was also playing out of his ideal position in a back 4 was a completely reckless decision...and boy did we pay dearly for it by losing all of our golden generation before they had time to mature together properly.

Thanks Irish 11:58 Wed Oct 6
Re: Article on the Tominator, An ode to Tomas Repka
Thanks Irish

Eerie Descent 11:37 Wed Oct 6
Re: Article on the Tominator, An ode to Tomas Repka
Indeed, talking football on a football messageboard is very strange.

I'd advise you against it going on your previous efforts.

Vexed 11:35 Wed Oct 6
Re: Article on the Tominator, An ode to Tomas Repka
If you type 'Repka' three times anywhere on WHO Eerie Descent appears out of thin air like fucking Beetlejuice. A strange phenomenon.

Eerie Descent 11:19 Wed Oct 6
Re: Article on the Tominator, An ode to Tomas Repka
You always have to acknowledge the context when judging a signing, and given that we never spent that kind of money before, him and Don Hutchison go dow as 2 of the worst signings we've ever made. Especially given the squad we had, 2 quality additions and we would've stayed up.

Cheers Roeder son.

REALGSA 10:44 Wed Oct 6
Re: Article on the Tominator, An ode to Tomas Repka
In his first season was relagated by a few points. His form and sendings off added to this.

Division 1 - Was shit, but it was a shit team - Lost P/O Final

Championship - Bad season in general, apart from Zamora clicking, Anton and Elliot Ward transforming the defense.

Premier League - Better team and was much better and left in the Jan Window.

Has passion, but was not good for West Ham

Lato 10:16 Wed Oct 6
Re: Article on the Tominator, An ode to Tomas Repka
Thanks Irish

Tomas Repka mad as a box of frogs but we loved him.....West Ham legend!

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