John Thomson

Celtic hero John Thomson was born in Kirkcaldy, Fife on 28 January 1909. Died 5 September 1931, aged 22

Celtic manager Willie Maley sent his chief scout, Steve Callaghan, to watch the Denbeath Star goalkeeper but instead came back with a rave review about Thomson. After playing against Denbeath Star on 20 October 1926, Celtic signed, 17-year-old, Thomson for £10. On 5 February, Celtic beat Brechin City 6–3, Maley was concerned by the fact his first choice ‘keeper, Peter Shevlin, had conceded three soft goals. He then decided to give, 18-year-old, Thomson a chance in the next game, which was against Dundee. He kept his place in the team after this match, and helped Celtic to finish second in the Scottish First Division. He also played in Celtic’s 1927 Scottish Cup Final victory, as they beat East Fife 3–1. The following season, after an Old Firm match where Celtic played against their rivals Rangers at Ibrox Park. Thomson received widespread praise from the press following an “immense” performance. On 5 February 1930, Thomson was seriously injured in a game against Airdrieonians. He broke his jaw, fractured several ribs, damaged his collar bone, and lost two teeth when making a diving save. On 11 April 1931, Thomson won the second medal of his career as Celtic beat Motherwell 4–2 in the 1931 Scottish Cup Final. The first match had finished in a 2–2 draw and over 105,000 spectators watched the replay at Hampden Park.

On 5 September 1931, Celtic were playing their Old Firm rivals Rangers at Ibrox Park in Glasgow in front of 80,000. Early in the second half Thomson and a Rangers player, Sam English, went for the ball at the same time. Thomson’s head collided with English’s knee, fracturing his skull and rupturing an artery in his right temple. Thomson was taken off the field in a stretcher; most people assumed that he was just badly concussed, but a few people who had seen his injuries suspected worse. One source said, “There were gasps in the main stand, a single piercing scream being heard from a horrified young woman”; this was believed to be the scream of 19-year-old Margaret Finlay, who was watching with Jim Thomson (brother of John). One Rangers player, also a medical student, said later that as soon as he saw him he gave little chance for his survival.

After having treatment from the St Andrew’s Ambulance Association, he was taken to a stretcher. According to The Scotsman he was “seen to rise on the stretcher and look towards the goal and the spot where the accident happened”. The game ended 0–0. Thomson was taken to the Victoria Infirmary in Glasgow. He had a lacerated wound over the right parietal bones of the skull, which meant that there was a depression in his skull of 2 inches in diameter. At 5pm he suffered a major convulsion. Dr Norman Davidson carried out an emergency operation to try and lower the amount of pressure caused by the swelling brain, but the operation was unsuccessful and he was pronounced dead by 9.25pm.

John Thomson News

Read all the news about John Thomson.

The Celt · Jun 20

Willie Fernie ; Fife’s Greatest Footballer

The Celt · Apr 21

From the records of E.A.MacBride [ june – december 1934]

The Celtic Star · Jan 16

Great Celtic Sides Named and Rated – Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Ayrshire and Fife Celtic

The Celtic Star · Jan 14

Gerald Downey’s Lanarkshire Celtic 2 – 0 David Potter’s Fife Celtic – Ayrshire, Glasgow and Ireland Celtic teams please

The Celtic Star · Oct 23, 2019

‘Parkhead erupted as it had never done so before,’ David Potter’s 7 Magnificently Random Celtic Stories

The Celtic Star · Oct 14, 2019

‘Hands Across the Atlantic,’ plus David Potter’s 50 Greatest Celtic wins over Rangers

The Celtic Star · Sep 5, 2019

‘Among the galaxy of talented goalkeepers whom Celtic have had, the late lamented John Thomson was the greatest,’ Willie Maley

The Celtic Star · Sep 5, 2019

T’was the face of young John Thomson, for his last game he had played

The Celtic Star · Sep 5, 2019

Sunday Afternoon Invite from John Thomson Memorial Committee in Cardenden

The Celtic Star · Jul 5, 2019

‘Ramsay MacDonald and John Thomson, as they shook hands with each other that day, did not know what was coming,’ David Potter on 1931 Scottish Cup Final Replay

The Celtic Star · May 31, 2019

Celtic 1935-36 – McGrory, McGrory Hallelujah, Jimmy Delaney’s hat-trick against Rangers

A Celtic State of Mind · May 27, 2019

A Celtic State of Mind – Acoustic Sessions: Volume 1

A Celtic State of Mind · May 8, 2019

Gerry McDade with A Celtic State of Mind

Celtic Quick News · Apr 24, 2019

Lisbon’s real and vibrant history

The Celtic Star · Mar 25, 2019

The Great John Thomson, my Uncle Dan’s claim to fame

The Celtic Star · Feb 15, 2019

‘I Took A Trip to Parkhead, To That Dear Old Paradise,’ David Potter

The Celtic Star · Jan 28, 2019

Jim Craig – Celtic on this day in the Scottish Cup, John Thomson’s Birthday

The Celtic Star · Dec 11, 2018

Jim Craig – Goalkeepers and Celtic’s outside-left Hugh O’Donnell

The Celtic Star · Nov 11, 2018

Jim Craig – A young man from Blantyre called John Fallon signed for Celtic

The Celtic Star · Sep 30, 2018

Planes, taxis and rowing boats – there was only one Jimmy Johnstone

The Celtic Star · Sep 12, 2018

Jim Craig – Celtic players faced the empty goal, the piper played a lament

Transfer Tavern · Sep 6, 2018

‘God rest the prince’ – Almost every Celtic fan has been paying tribute to John Thomson

The Celtic Star · Sep 5, 2018

John Thomson Anniversary – A familiar face was missing

The Celtic Star · Sep 5, 2018

A young lad named John Thomson, Jim Craig

The Celtic Star · Sep 5, 2018

Jim Craig – John Thomson suffered a depressed fracture of the skull

The Celtic Star · Jul 11, 2018

A Tragic Derby at Ibrox – France Football pays tribute to The Prince of Goalkeepers

The Celtic Star · Apr 23, 2018

Jim Craig’s 7am start: Alec Thomson, a Celtic legend

The Celtic Star · Mar 25, 2018

John Thomson, my Uncle Dan’s claim to fame

The Celtic Star · Mar 20, 2018

Sickening vandalism at the John Thomson 3G pitch in Cardenden

VideoCelts · Mar 20, 2018

Former SFA referee lifts the lid on the special network

Off the Ball · Nov 25, 2017

25 Nov 17 John Boyle, David Friel & Kevin Thomson

Celtic FC · Nov 20, 2017

New John Thomson Park is a lasting tribute to a Celtic legend

Celtic Quick News · Nov 20, 2017

Scott Brown Opens New Pitch In Cardenden, In Memory Celtic Legend John Thomson

Celtic Quick News · Sep 5, 2017

John Thomson, 1909-1931

5 September 1931 – The Death Of John Thomson

History Bhoys Abroad · Aug 11, 2017

History Bhoys Abroad – 22 – John Thomson

Indy Celts · Apr 16, 2017

Disgusting Rangers mock Sam English and John Thomson

Hail Hail Media · Feb 19, 2017

History Bhoys Abroad #22 – John Thomson

VideoCelts · Feb 5, 2017

Watch Craig Thomson’s penalty shocker in St Johnstone v Celtic

VideoCelts · Dec 16, 2016

SFA forced to reverse decisions

Daily Record · Aug 22, 2016

SFA set for talks with BT Sport as broadcaster questions referee Craig Thomson starting Celtic game early

Bampots Utd · Apr 6, 2016

Craig Thomson to referee Rangers v Celtic Scottish Cup semi-final — FootyFanatic

Daily Record · Apr 6, 2016

Craig Thomson to referee Rangers v Celtic Scottish Cup clash at Hampden

Celtic FC · Nov 23, 2015

Historic recording that pays tribute to John Thomson

Celtic FC · Sep 14, 2015

Paradise to Cardenden cyclists mark John Thomson anniversary

Daily Record · Jan 1, 2015

Ex-Hibs star Michael Stewart slams Celtic assistant John Collins saying: He loves himself and only needed five minutes to lose dressing room

ETims · Oct 6, 2014

Ode to Craig Gordon

Celtic FC · Sep 5, 2014

John Thomson – A Prince among men

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