John Thomson

Read all the news about Celtic hero John Thomson. 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.

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John Thomson in the news

Read all the latest Celtic FC news mentioning John Thomson.

The Celtic Star · Sep 30

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

September is always a very poignant month for Celtic supporters, as we remember some of the greats whose anniversaries fall around this time, from John Thomson to Jock Stein...

The Celtic Star · Sep 30
The Celtic Star · Sep 12

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

After the accidental collision at Ibrox on 5 September 1931 which led to the death of John Thomson, there was, naturally, an outpouring of grief in the following days...

The Celtic Star · Sep 12
The Celtic Star · Apr 23

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

Alec Thomson was born in 1901. As a young man, he rose up the football ranks, eventually signing for Wellesley Juniors in Fife – the same club which produced John Thomson a few years later – where he appeared more often than not at outside-right...

The Celtic Star · Apr 23

John Thomson Anniversary – A familiar face was missing

A familiar face was missing A shell shocked looking Celtic troop out without their comrade John Thomson for the first time at Celtic Park pic.twitter.com/SG3KnUSUtU — Lisbon Lion (@tirnaog09) 19 August 2018 I saw this photograph for the first time on Twitter a couple of weeks back...

A young lad named John Thomson, Jim Craig

ONE of the saddest days in the history of Celtic. At Ibrox Park on this day in 1931 in the first Old Frm clash of the season, goalkeeper John Thomson suffered a depressed fracture of the skull when he came off his line to dive for the ball at the feet of Rangers centre-forward Sam...

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

ONE of the saddest days in the history of Celtic. At Ibrox Park on this day in 1931 in the first Old Frm clash of the season, goalkeeper John Thomson suffered a depressed fracture of the skull when he came off his line to dive for the ball at the feet of Rangers centre-forward Sam...

Celtic FC · Nov 20, 2017

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

SCOTT Brown today helped to official open a new community football pitch at The Bowhill Centre, Cardenden, in memory of Celtic legend John Thomson...

Celtic FC · Nov 20, 2017
Celtic Quick News · Nov 20, 2017

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

CELTIC skipper Scott Brown Celtic Captain Scott Brown officially opened a new pitch this afternoon at the The Bowhill Centre, Cardenden in memory of Celtic legend John Thomson...

Celtic Quick News · Nov 20, 2017
Celtic Quick News · Sep 5, 2017

John Thomson, 1909-1931

IN the pantheon of Celtic legends, one name stands out taller than others, as the epitome of what our club is...

Celtic Quick News · Sep 5, 2017

5 September 1931 – The Death Of John Thomson

On 5 September 1931, Celtic goalkeeper John Thomson died after colliding with a player during an O** F*** match...

The Celtic Star · Jul 11

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

France Football magazine, now in its 73rd year, remains the journal of record as regards European and international football, and this week, as part of a series devoted to footballers unable for whatever reason to achieve their full potential, pays tribute to John Thomson...

The Celtic Star · Jul 11
Celtic FC · Nov 23, 2015

Historic recording that pays tribute to John Thomson

Continue reading “Historic recording that pays tribute to John Thomson” on Celtic FC.

Celtic FC · Nov 23, 2015
The Celtic Star · Mar 20

Sickening vandalism at the John Thomson 3G pitch in Cardenden

THE JOHN THOMSON 3G pitch in Cardenden has been vandalised with blue and red paint poured on the sign and the pitches...

The Celtic Star · Mar 20
History Bhoys Abroad · Aug 11, 2017

History Bhoys Abroad – 22 – John Thomson

Episode #22 of the regular HBA is on John Thomson, The Prince of Goalkeepers...

History Bhoys Abroad · Aug 11, 2017
The League Magazine · Jul 10, 2017

The Prince of Goalkeepers

‘They never die who live in the hearts they leave behind’ The inscription on John Thomson’s gravestone...

The League Magazine · Jul 10, 2017
Indy Celts · Apr 16, 2017

Disgusting Rangers mock Sam English and John Thomson

The banner unfurled by the Real Rangers Men at Ibrox shows not just their complete lack of empathy for the human condition, it also shows their acceptance of all that’s wrong with it...

Indy Celts · Apr 16, 2017
Hail Hail Media · Feb 19, 2017

History Bhoys Abroad #22 – John Thomson

Episode #22 of the regular HBA is on John Thomson, The Prince of Goalkeepers...

Hail Hail Media · Feb 19, 2017
Celtic FC · Sep 14, 2015

Paradise to Cardenden cyclists mark John Thomson anniversary

Continue reading “Paradise to Cardenden cyclists mark John Thomson anniversary” on Celtic FC.

Celtic FC · Sep 14, 2015
ETims · Oct 6, 2014

Ode to Craig Gordon

Craig Gordon by The Holy Poet A young man called John Thomson, our prince was truly blessed And between the Celtic goalposts, he proved he...

ETims · Oct 6, 2014
Celtic FC · Sep 5, 2014

John Thomson – A Prince among men

IT was 83 years ago today, on Saturday, September 5, 1931, the Celtic goalkeeper John Thomson received a serious head injury while playing against Rangers at Ibrox...

Celtic FC · Sep 5, 2014
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