Frans Thijssen

Fransciscus Johannes 'Frans' Thijssen (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈfrɑns ˈtɛi̯.sə(n)]) (born 23 January 1952 in Malden, Gelderland) is a former international Dutch footballer. He started his professional career in 1970 with NEC Nijmegen. In 1973, he moved to FC Twente, where the midfielder played for nearly six seasons.

Frans Thijssen
Thijssen in 1979
Personal information
Date of birth (1952-01-23) 23 January 1952
Place of birth Malden, Netherlands
Playing position Midfielder
Youth career
SV Juliana '31
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1970–1973 NEC Nijmegen 83 (10)
1973–1979 FC Twente 167 (47)
1979–1983 Ipswich Town 125 (10)
1983 Nottingham Forest 17 (3)
1983–1984 Vancouver Whitecaps 45 (9)
1984–1987 Fortuna Sittard 79 (11)
1987–1988 FC Groningen 25 (0)
1988–1991 Vitesse Arnhem 87 (1)
Total 628 (91)
National team
1975–1981 Netherlands[1] 14 (3)
Teams managed
1995–1996 Vitesse Arnhem
1997–1998 Malmö FF
1999 De Graafschap
2000–2001 Fortuna Sittard
2014–2015 Brisbane Roar (caretaker manager)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Thijssen won fourteen caps for Holland between 1975 and 1981.

In 1979, he moved to England to sign for Ipswich Town joining former FC Twente team mate Arnold Muhren. In 1981 he was the first Dutchman to be voted English Footballer of the Year as he helped Ipswich Town win the UEFA Cup, scoring one goal in each of the two legs of the final. He played a big part in their run to the semi finals of the FA Cup, and they also finished second in the league that season. He helped them finished second again the following year, but a year later he departed from Portman Road after four years to sign for Brian Clough's Nottingham Forest, but he was not nearly as successful at the City Ground as he had been in East Anglia, and he had left the club within months.

He also had a stint in the NASL with the Vancouver Whitecaps. In 1984, he returned to his native country, to play for Fortuna Sittard (1984–1987), FC Groningen (1987–1988) and Vitesse Arnhem (1988–1991).

After his active career he became a football manager. In 1997, he became manager for the Swedish club Malmö FF and spent two years there.

After several seasons without success, Thijssen was sacked as manager for Malmö FF during the middle of season 98. At the time of his dismissal Malmö was in danger of being relegated to the first division(Superettan) for the first time in the club's history. Thijssen was replaced by Roland Andersson and Thomas Sjöberg.

On 24 November 2014, Thijssen was named interim coach of the Brisbane Roar in the Australian A-League.[2]

Managerial statistics

As of 4 March 2015
Team Nat From To Record
Brisbane Roar 24 November 2014 8 June 2015 28 11 5 12 039.29
Total 28 11 5 12 039.29


Ipswich Town



  1. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 6 April 2009. Retrieved 15 February 2009.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 29 November 2014. Retrieved 24 November 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. "Frans Thijssen profile". Archived from the original on 27 October 2007. Retrieved 26 October 2007.
  4. Lynch. The Official P.F.A. Footballers Heroes. p. 143.
  5. King, Elvin (8 July 2008). "Thijssen inducted into Town Hall of Fame". East Anglian Daily Times. Retrieved 3 September 2016.
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