Remember Them? Toddy Orlygsson

Well it has been a long long time since I did one of these. One of these features where we look at the lesser remembered players of the past, and just do a little round up. Just to put in context we previously did Nikola Jerkan, Thierry Bonalair, Felix Bastians and Brett Williams.


This week we look at Icelandic winger Þorvaldur "Toddy" Örlygsson. We signed him in 1989, so as an 8 year old I was fairly excited at signing a foreign player, who were still fairly rare in the English game. Especially as at the time we were banned in Europe. Toddi was apparently Icelandic player of the year when we signed him.

Olygsson was a left winger, a position being contested at the time by Tommy Gaynor, with Ian Woan to be signed by the club not long after. We had also been using Garry Parker as a left winger the season before, with Hodge and Webb being stalwarts in the middle, before Webbs departure for Manchester United. This meant we need left sided cover with Parker moving back inside, which gave Olygsson some game time.

The next 2 seasons he would barely appear at all in the first team. The emergence of Scot Gemmill, and Kingsley Black coming in, and Woan’s continual development meant the midfield would shuffle around a bit. A young Irishman named Roy keane was also fresh on the scene and Parker departed for Villa. But Olygsson would feature quite often on the bench.

In the first year of the new Premier League, Olygsson featured more often than the previous season, and the team struggled. Used mainly as cover for Woan, who missed around 20 games that year, it wasn’t to be a fun season. Although he grabbed a goal, the team were relegated and afterwards Olygsson was let go by Clark as Forest roared back into the Premier League.

Icelandic football occasionally produces players of quality, say Eidur Gudjonsen, but into the late 80’s their league would have been about as good as Wales own league. Orlygsson after Forest had a successful two years at Stoke before drifting further down the league with Oldham, maybe finding his level somewhere between the lower second and third flights.

It was always clear he wasn’t up to the task of regular top level football, but back then we almost celebrated average players, like with Brian Rice. The problem was these average players ultimately led us to relegation.

Orlygsson ended up back in Iceland, finishing his playing career where he started with northern club KA Akureyri, where he ended up as player manager. He now manages IA Akranes in the Icelandic league. I’ll always remember him as pretty much being the first foreigner in my time to play for Forest. Hardly a signal of what was to come, but a player who always sticks in my mind.

Orlygsson played 37 times for Forest scoring twice.