Norwegian football player, born April 12, 1957 in Larvik, Norway. Forward and midfielder.
Son of Gunnar Thoresen who played 64 Norway caps and 472 matches for Larvik Turn.
Hallvar Thoresen was a professional football player in The Netherlands for almost his entire career, long before professional players were common back home in Norway. In 1976 he left his Norwegian club Larvik Turn for FC Twente from Enschede in The Netherlands. The year after he helped his team win the KNVB Cup (national cup) with a 3-0 victory over PEC Zwolle. In 1979 they came close again, but this time they lost to Ajax in the final round of the cup.
While playing for FC Twente, Hallvar Thoresen built a strong reputation for himself, and on May 21, 1978 he debuted on the Norwegian national side against Ireland.
In 1981 he left Twente for another Dutch side - PSV Eindhoven. This was to be a very successful career move, putting him on the pitch alongside Ronald Koeman, Ruud Gullit, Gerald Vanenburg and other 70's football stars. He could however hold his own on the midfield where he usually played, gaining respect from the entire european football establishment. Throughout 1984 to 1986 seasons he was captain of the PSV side. He won the Eredivisie (national league) with PSV Eindhoven in the 1985/1986, 1986/1987 and 1987/1988 seasons. The European Cup was taken home to Eindhoven in 1988, beating Portuguese side Benfica after extra time in the final.
He had a small role as "Gunnar Hilsson" in the movie "Escape to Victory" (1981). The movie is set in a WWII POW camp, where Michael Caine leads an all-star cast of POW footballers against the German national team.
When his career abroad came to an end in 1988, he returned to Norway to become a player/coach for Frigg. The next three seasons he only played six matches, finally retiring from the field in 1991. He took up coaching full-time, which set him off on a rollercoaster ride through clubs. He was constantly pounded by the media, hated by fans and frowned upon by the management of most of the clubs he took up work in.
Why was this? Part of the reason is that he started coaching Bergen side SK Brann. This is a club infamous for its demanding fans, sorry-ass management and players with a god-like status. The Brann employment culminated in several players being sacked from the club together with Hallvar Thoresen. He later admitted to rushing some of the on-field changes, alienating most of the players from his plans. This lead to widespread scepticism of his abilities as a coach, because not even internationally acclaimed football stars are immune to Jante's Law.
Hallvar Thoresen is currently an assistant coach for Lillestrøm SK and the national Olympic football team. A few years ago he was made a honorary member of the Arsenal Supporters Club Norway since he is an outspoken fan of "The Gunners".
- Larvik Turn, Norway (-1976)
- FC Twente, The Netherlands (1976-1981, 167 matches, 54 goals)
- PSV Eindhoven, The Netherlands (1981-1988, 179 matches, 106 goals)
- Frigg, Norway (1988-1991, 6 matches)
All clubs are Norwegian.
- KNVB Cup champion with FC Twente, 1978
- Dutch national league (Eredivisie) champion with PSV Eindhoven, 1985/1986, 1986/1987, 1987/1988
- European Cup champion with PSV Eindhoven, 1988
- Top scorer PSV Eindhoven 1982/1983 (22 goals), 1983/1984 (23 goals), 1984/1985 (21 goals)
- Scored 152 goals in Eredivisie, placing him 12th on the all-time top scorers list in The Netherlands
- 50 Norway caps, 9 goals