Per Tomas Brolin (born November 29, 1969 in Hudiksvall) had a career of two halves. He was a charismatic playmaker, a Swedish idol, a lard-laden troublemaker and an elk killer.
Brolin: Swedish golden boy
In the early 1990s, gifted ball-player Brolin could do no wrong and he was part of a Parma side that won the UEFA Cup and European Cup Winners’ Cup.
At international level, a young Brolin was part of a Swedish team including the likes of Martin Dahlin and Kennet Andersson that inexplicably reached the semi-finals of Euro 92 and finished third at the 1994 World Cup.
Brolin: Big, fat failure
Unfortunately Brolin broke his ankle and this started the chain of events that would turn him from Swedish superstar to Leeds laughing stock.
In 1995, Leeds United brought Brolin in to play alongside Tony Yeboah and he was greeted with enthusiasm.
Unfortunately, nobody could have foreseen that Brolin would be a changed man after his injury and his lazy approach to training would see him pile of the pounds. To make matters worse, Brolin had a tempestuous relationship with gritty manager and alleged bike thief Howard Wilkinson.
Wilkinson imposed almost continuous fines on Brolin for failing to turn up to training and took against the Swede’s lifestyle choices, such as installing a microwave in his car so he could warm pasties on the way to Thorp Arch.
On April Fool’s Day in 1996, Brolin had to apologise after pranking Wilkinson by telling Swedish TV he would be spending the rest of the season at IFK Norrkoping. Brolin then pulled a slightly edgier practical joke when he refused to turn up to pre-season training.
The club were fuming but revealed that they couldn’t get in touch with Brolin as they ‘didn’t have his number’. A statement clarified that they could have called his mobile but they ‘didn’t want to seem clingy.’
When Brolin did resurface, another 6 stone heavier, he was sent on loan to FC Zurich where he enjoyed a brief period of huge success and decided to rejoin Parma, offering to pay for the loan deal himself.
Parma smirkingly agreed and took Brolin back, but coach Carlo Ancelotti had no interest in playing him. Desperate for a game of football, Brolin signed for Crystal Palace, but his role was mostly limited to acting as a translator for ill-fated Italian manager Attilio Lombardo. As Lombardo’s main contribution to Palace was looking like an eagle and that needed no translation, Brolin was soon surplus to requirements.
In August 1998, Brolin retired. He set up a restaurant in Sweden and sold mouthpieces for vacuum cleaners for a while. Now he plays poker against people like Tony Cascarino.
Brolin: Killer of elk
Brolin famously ran over an elk in Sweden. It died.