Sandy Thomas was born on the 22nd March 1933. He joined the Navy as a teenager and left in 1958 at the age of 25. Sandy went on to marry a woman named Dorothy and they had 2 sons, Ashley Thomas in 1961 and Luke Thomas. Dorothy fell ill to cancer and Sandy helped her die. Ashley and Sandy subsequently fell out, as Ashley disagreed with Sandy's decision to help Dorothy die.
2005-2008: Early years in Emmerdale
Sandy first appeared in November 2005 after the wedding of his son Ashley. He frightened Ashley's newlywed Laurel by hiding in the marital bed. Sandy and Ashley had a difficult relationship as Sandy helped to end the life of his wife and Ashley's mother Dorothy, which went against Ashley's Christian beliefs. Nevertheless, Sandy moved in with Ashley and Laurel at Mulberry Cottage.
2009-2018: Abuse from Ashley, befriending Betty and Edna, and departure
Sandy proved to be a vivacious and saucy character, often making innuendo-laden jokes and embarrassing his family at any given time. However he could sometimes get caught up in dark storylines, the most notable being when he began suffering elder abuse at the hands of Ashley as his marriage collapsed. Nevertheless, father and son made up in the end.
Over the years, Sandy befriended other older people in the village, such as Betty Eagleton and Edna Birch. Sandy was terribly saddened by Betty's move to Australia in May 2015 and Edna's death in April 2016.
Sandy was left considerably upset when Ashley began suffering from vascular dementia and ultimately died in April 2017. Sandy continued to live at Mulberry with Laurel and the family following Ashley's death.
With his age ever advancing and wanting to see more of the world before he would be unable to, Sandy made the decision to join Betty in Australia. He left the village for down under in February 2018, bidding farewell to friends and family from over the years in a video-call to The Woolpack, his favourite place in the whole world.
2020-: Death and legacy
Sandy passed away on 5th February 2020 in his sleep while watching a television programme. He was 86 years old. Betty rang up Laurel to inform her of Sandy's death. The following day, Laurel told Arthur and Gabby the sad news, but said that Sandy didn't feel any pain and went peacefully. Arthur blamed himself for Sandy's death, believing it was his abuse of Laurel's boyrfriend Jai Sharma's son Archie that caused Sandy to be killed. The next day, the family travelled to Australia for his funeral.
- Actor Freddie Jones made the decision to leave the role of Sandy following the departure of John Middleton - the actor behind Ashley - as he wished to retire. The character departed the village in the episode aired 16th February 2018 and made his final appearance in the following episode.
"Afternoon, vicar." - First line, to his son Ashley Thomas.
"I was resting my eyelashes!"
"Tinkety tonk, see y'all around the bend. Cheers!" - Final line, in video-call.