Yesterday Linfieldfc.com featured an in depth profile on the career of Englishman, Tommy Thompson - the former Linfield winger who scored in winning Irish Cup Finals in 1948, 1950 and 1953.
As with all of these historical features, we have received a great deal of interest and intrigue from our supporters, most of whom are learning tales of a bygone era when our heroes of yesteryear brought great success to this club which helped build it into the fine institution that it has become today.
In the case of many of these historical features, we receive communication with direct descendants of our former players and we are again delighted to report that several of Tommy’s family members and friends have been in immediate contact from their Yorkshire homes and have let us have sight of the following set of fascinating images.
Firstly, a great Linfield team photo from 1949/50 with Tommy seated front left. Some of the biggest names in this club’s proud and illustrious history are in this team photo.
Secondly, a Leicester City team photo from 1939, featuring Tommy seated on the ground second from the right.
During the course of yesterday’s correspondence, we also learned that Tommy was a fine wicket keeper for his local village cricket club in Doncaster, South Yorkshire - Adwick le Street.
Tommy passed away, aged 60 in October 1979 and we also learned of what must have bern his final visit to Windsor Park with his Carrickfergus born wife Shirley in the 1970s when he was introduced to the crowd from the side of the pitch during a lap of honour.
Tommy played for the Irish League representative side against the English League team at Blackpool’s Bloomfield Rd stadium. In front of a 20 000 crowd, the Irish League team was defeated 6-3 but the team list of the Irish League squad in the fascinating booklet below reads like a ‘Who’s who’ of the greats of Irish League football - Bingham, Simpson, Cush, McGarry, among others.
It was an English League team that included the legendary Tom Finney who didn’t have far to travel from his nearby Preston home. Albert Stubbins scored 5 of the goals (Johnny Morris the other) with Cliftonville’s Kevin McGarry scoring twice for the Irish League and PM Corr the other goal.
Linfield’s Tommy Thompson won 3 Irish Cup winners medals (1948, 1950 and 1953) and below is an image of one of the suitably engraved medals passed down to his descendants, as a treasured memento and keep sake of their dearly beloved grandfather and former Linfield hero.
And below is his City Cup medal from 1952/53 - a lovely medal as it depicts the coat of arms of the city of Belfast with the Latin motto of the city - pro Tanto quid - ‘what shall we give in return for so much‘.
A really fascinating journey down memory lane, paying tribute to one of the Greats who made this club Great.
Tommy Thompson (1919-1979) - Linfield FC salutes you and the achievements of you and your team mates.
Audaces Fortuna Juvat
- information the family received from Leicester City below
Doncaster-born 18 year old Tommy Thompson was Tom Bromilow's first signing as manager, joining from Tunbridge Wells Rangers in August 1939.
He had 15 outings (1 goal) in 1939-40 wartime fare before being posted to Ireland with his Army unit. There he played for an Army in Ulster XI and guested regularly for Linfield, scoring twice in their 1942 Irish Cup Final win over Glentoran.
He made a couple of further appearances for City in December 1942 but then disappeared from the City scene, being officially released in May 1946. Meanwhile, he had taken an Ulster bride, settled in Carrickfergus, and continued playing with Linfield in 1946-47. He played in three more IFA Cup Finals, in 1948, 1950 and 1953, and actually scored in each. He was also nine times an Irish League representative.
Further to above - Tommy Thompson (2) and Peppitt were on the scoresheet in Linfield’s 3-1 wartime Irish Cup Final win against Glentoran at Celtic Park on April 18, 1942
The team line up was : Redmond, Kirkwood, Feeney, McKeown, Mould, Brolly, Thompson, Wright, Peppitt, Ormston and Baker.
The following are details of his other inter league appearances and the other Linfield players in the same match. Names in bold were scorers.
home v. Scottish League (Windsor Park, 6th November 1948) lost 0-1 (att: 23,000)
Bryson (Linfield), Thompson (Linfield), McDowell (Linfield),
home v. League of Ireland (Windsor Park, 18th April 1949) won 4-1 (att: 18,000)
McMichael (Linfield), Thompson (Linfield), Simpson (Linfield),
away v. Scottish League (Ibrox, 7th September 1949) lost 1-8 (att: 62,000)
McMichael (Linfield), Thompson (Linfield), Hannah (Linfield),
away v. League of Ireland (Dalymount Park, 17th March 1950) lost 1-3 (att: 18,000)
Russell (Linfield), Thompson (Linfield), Dickson (Linfield)
- Tommy in an Irish League team photo from the Irish League centenary book by Malcolm Brodie - page 18
- Tommy in his Doncaster village cricket team photo - he was wicket keeper in the early 1960s - Tommy is front right.