Past Legends - Tommy Osborne
Player Legends 16 of 24

16. Past Legends - Tommy Osborne

Captain Tommy Osborne wearing number two in action 2015


Article by Richard J Green at the time of Tommy's appointment to First Team Manager in November 2022

New Manager Tommy Osborne
As we embarked on a period of managerial change in mid November, the Club were fortunate to have on hand a stalwart of 100 plus first team appearances and five years experience within the first team management structure.
Accompanied by new summer recruit Paul “No Shot” Lorraine, it seemed the logical choice to hand the responsibility for building on the progress the Club has made in recent times to Dartford born, Valley legend Tommy Osborne.
And our new management team got off to the perfect start – within days of assuming control, a game changing half time tactical switch at Chichester City saw us returning home on the A27 with three valuable points in tow.

What many may be unaware of, is that 43 year old Tommy enjoyed a hugely successful non league playing career after being released from Gillingham at the age of 19 – going on to make significant contributions at Hastings Town (latterly United), Dartford, Margate and Hythe Town.
While at Hastings, the Club won promotion from the Southern League Eastern Division to the Southern League Premier in 2001/2, before Tommy moved to the Darts in 2003.
At Princes Park, Tommy was part of the side that won the Isthmian League Division One North championship in 2007/8, before moving on in 2009 with 250 appearances to his name.
A spell at Margate followed - making 46 appearances in the Isthmian League Premier Division – before Tommy moved to Maidstone United, again achieving promotion from the Isthmian League South Division before picking up a knee injury in 2013.

After then playing 71 times in a year and a half at Hythe Town, Paul Gross secured Tommy’s services for The Millers – telling the Kentish Football website "I've been speaking with him since I was appointed manager and after yesterday's session, he's decided to put pen to paper. I'm absolutely thrilled he has agreed to join us. He brings a wealth of experience to the club and will be a valued asset. I'm looking forward to working with Ozzy - he'll be a great leader for the younger lads in the squad."
Tommy went on to make 104 first team appearances for Valley, – scoring just the two goals in the 2015/16 season – becoming part of the management structure as he worked alongside Mark Dobson in leading the Club’s Under 23 side to the Suburban League South Division title and League Cup Final in 2016/17.

The arrival of Kevin Watson saw Tommy become Player/Coach to the first team during the following season, before being appointed as Assistant Manager in June 2018.
The following years will be forever remembered in the Club’s history as Tommy worked alongside Kevin in winning the SCEFL Championship and leading the Club to Wembley in the FA Vase Final the following season.
2019/20 finished with Valley in third place in the Isthmian League South East Division before Covid struck – the following “short” 2020/21 season seeing us qualify for the First Round Proper of the FA Cup for the first time in the Club’s history.
After another record breaking season finishing in fifth position and qualifying for the Playoffs, Tommy will be looking to add another chapter to his illustrious career by leading Valley into the Isthmian League Premier Division next Spring.

Cray Valley (PM) Career:
104 first team appearances scoring twice
Season 2014/15 29 apps
Season 2015/16 45 apps (2 goals)
Season 2017/18 20 apps
Season 2018/19 9 apps
Season 2019/20 1 app

Manager / Coach:
Season 2016/17 - U23 Reserve side joint manager / coach. "Mark Dobson and Tommy Osborne's side were crowned Suburban South Division Champions and were Suburban Challenge League Cup Finalists, just losing out to Metropolitan Police 1-2 in the final."
Season 2017/18 - Became First Team Player/ Coach.
June 2018: Appointed First Team Assistant Manager going on to share some memorable moments.
Season 18/19 SCEFL Champions promoted to Step 4 for the first time. FA Vase Finalists at Wembley losing to Chertsey Town 3-1 aet.
Season 19/20 First Covid season curtailed after 28 games with the team well placed in 3rd position.
Season 20/21 Second Covid season in which the club reached the first round proper of the FA Cup for the first time, losing 1-0 to Havant and Waterlooville.
Season 21/22 The club finished in it's highest ever position at step 4, reaching the play off's after a 5th place finish before losing 1-0 to Ashford United in the semi final.
Season 22/23 on the 15th November 2022 Tommy took over as First Team Manager following Kevin Watson's resignation. Narrowly missed out on a play off spot by one point finishing in 6th place.