Thomas John “Tommy” Mooney (born 11 August 1971) is an English former professional football player who played as a striker.
Mooney began his professional career at Aston Villa, but was released in 1990 without ever playing for the first team. Mooney then joined Scarborough, where he made a name for himself, scoring 40 goals in 129 first-team appearances. After three years at Scarborough, he moved to Southend United for a reported £100,000.
After just one season at Southend he arrived at Watford – initially on loan, before eventually signing for £95,000 in July 1994 as a ‘makeweight’ alongside midfielder Derek Payne, with Keith Dublin moving in the opposite direction.
In his early days at the club, under manager Glenn Roeder, he failed to cement a successful striking partnership with Jamie Moralee and soon found himself in the reserves or on the bench. He eventually ended up playing as part of the defensive line during the Second Division championship-winning campaign of 1997–98.
Mooney started the 1998–99 season in a defensive role, but slipped out of the side as Watford reverted to 4–4–2. Meanwhile Watford, after a good start, had fallen out of the play-off positions as the season drew to a close. On 3 April 1999 during a home league match against Tranmere Rovers Watford manager Graham Taylor brought on Mooney as part of a triple substitution. The effect was almost immediate with Mooney whipping in a cross for Peter Kennedy to half volley home, as Watford went on to win 2–1.
Taylor picked Mooney for the following week’s away fixture against Birmingham City in his favoured striker’s role. He scored the first and made the second in a 2–0 win. Watford went on to reach the play-offs gaining 19 points (out of a maximum 21) from their last seven games with Mooney scoring in every game bar one. He went on to give valuable performances in both legs of the subsequent play-off semi final (against Birmingham) and the final against Bolton Wanderers at Wembley Stadium, despite not scoring in either.
Watford’s inaugural Premiership season started brightly enough for Mooney, who scored the only goal in front of The Kop at Anfield to secure a memorable away win against Liverpool. He then grabbed another the following week at home to Bradford City. He was injured in a 1–0 win against Gianluca Vialli’s Chelsea in mid-September. He was only able to make eight appearances as Watford were relegated.
A return to the First Division in 2000 witnessed a fully fit Mooney back as centre forward. He became the first player in nearly a decade to score twenty league goals for the club. This achievement was enough to earn Mooney his second Player of the Season award.
In May 2006 Mooney became the fourth inductee into the Watford Hall of Fame, alongside Luther Blissett, John McClelland and Tony Coton.
Out of contract with Watford, Mooney took up the offer of a better contract to play for Birmingham City, playing for the West Midlands club from June 2001 to July 2003 and making a total of 29 league starts. He featured heavily in the side that took Birmingham from the First Division to the FA Premier League via the playoffs in the 2001–2002 season. However Mooney played just one game in the top division before being loaned to Stoke City. At Stoke Mooney played 12 times scoring three goals one of which came against his former club Watford. Two other loans followed that season for Sheffield United and Derby County. At Sheffield United he scored once in the FA Cup, against future club Walsall.
Mooney then moved to Swindon Town for the 2003–2004 season. Mooney played a crucial part in Swindon reaching the play-offs that season, scoring 20 goals and setting up many more. Swindon lost in the play-off semi-final to Brighton & Hove Albion, with Mooney missing his kick in the penalty shootout when keeper Ben Roberts just tipped it around the post. Then in the summer of 2004, he transferred to Swindon’s rivals Oxford United, having failed to agree a new contract with Swindon. He was Oxford’s top scorer for the club in 2004–2005.
In the summer of 2005 Mooney signed for Wycombe Wanderers, on a two-year contract. His first season at Wycombe started superbly, scoring a volley against Carlisle United on his debut but ended in misery as he limped out of Wycombe’s play-off semi final against Cheltenham, which Wycombe went on to lose. He was also captain of the side. Mooney also played in the biggest game of the latter part of his career when he played for Wycombe in the League Cup semi-final against Chelsea (both legs) including making the flick header to Jermaine Easter which resulted in a 1–1 draw in the first leg at Adams Park. Wycombe went on to lose the second leg 4–0 at Stamford Bridge
In July 2007 Mooney rejected a contract with Wycombe saying that they had not made enough changes to have a good chance of promotion the following season. He subsequently signed for newly promoted League One side Walsall.
Mooney’s contract expired at the end of the 2007–08 season, and the player rejected the chance of an extension with the club. It was announced in June 2008 that Mooney had joined Segunda División B side UD Marbella. but has now retired.
|2002||Stoke City (loan)||12||(3)|
|2003||Sheffield United (loan)||3||(0)|
|2003||Derby County (loan)||8||(0)|