As Linfield prepares for a huge Euro night at Windsor Park, the club recalls the life and times of one of our all time Euro greats - Tommy Leishman - the player manager who led this club to the quarter finals of the European Cup in March 1967 and who sadly passed away in Scotland yesterday.
The following details are provided courtesy of the handwritten personal records of the former chairman, the late David Crawford,
Tommy was born on September 3, 1937 in Stenhousemuir, Stirling in Scotland.
In his early days he played for Ravbeth High school, Cowie juniors in 1952, Camelon juniors and Stenhousemuir.
Before turning professional, he was a transport driver with the army,
Tommy was a half back or full back.
He was with St Mirren between 1955 and 1959 and he won a Scottish cup winners medal, after playing in a 3-1 win against Aberdeen.
He was transferred to Liverpool for £10 000 in 1959.
He won a second division winners medal in 1961/62 and before leaving Anfield, he'd played in 119 games and scoring 7 goals for the Merseyside club.
He signed for Hibernian in January 1963 for a £12 000 fee and he won a Scottish Summer cup medal with Hibs in 1964.
The late George Armstrong spotted Tommy playing for Hibs and reported him to Linfield. After advice from the late Jock Stein, the then Hibs manager, Tommy was appointed player coach of Linfield on June 1st 1965.
He was full time player coach until the end of the 1966/67 season and he remained as a player under Ewan Fenton until October 14, 1967.
He's described in David Crawford's records as a ‘very strong rugged player who obtained his coaching certificate at Lilleshall’.
With Linfield, he stayed with Ted Smyth at Great Northern Street, beside Windsor Park.
With Linfield (1965-67) he achieved the following
1965/66 - 53 appearances and 9 goals
1966/67 - 45 appearances and 12 goals
1967/68 - 10 appearances and 1 goal
Total - 112 appearances and 24 goals
He won an Irish League winners medal in 1965/66
In 1965/66 he also won a Gold cup winners medal - on December 1, 1965 Linfield defeated Portadown 6-0 in the final at the Oval.
He won County Antrim Shield winners medals in both 1965/66 (4-0 v Ballymena) and 1966/67 (5-3 v Crusaders)
He won a Top Four winners medal in 1966/67 - scoring in a 2-1 final win against Coleraine at Solitude on May 17, 1967
In 1966 he was awarded both the Ulster Footballer of the year award and the prestigious 1st Newtownabbey LSC player of the year award.
He led Linfield to the Quarter-finals of the European Cup in 1966/67
He made 7 playing European appearances - away to Aris of Luxembourg, home and away against Valarengan of Norway and home and away against CSKA Sofia in the March 1967 quarter final.
In addition, he played home and away against Lokomotive Leipzig in the 1967/68 season.
When he left Linfield in October 1967 soon after the second leg against Leipzig, he signed for Stranraer in his native Scotland.
In his later years he was living in Fallin, 4 miles from Stirling in Scotland.
He passed away in Scotland on July 21, 2021 after a long illness.
Audaces Fortuna Juvat