RIP Chris Thompson 1960-2012
By Gerry Wolstenholme
Updated Friday, 8th June 2012
A tribute to former Pool player Chris Thompson who we are saddened to hear has passed away aged 52.
Christopher David Thompson 1960 - 2012
Chris Thompson (standing extreme left back row) in the Blackpool squad line-up for 1989/90.
He had begun his career as an apprentice at Bolton Wanderers for whom he signed as a professional in July 1977. Bolton loaned him to Lincoln City in March 1983 and he played six League games and made one substitute appearance for the club. He played 66 League games, made seven substitute appearances and scored 18 goals for Bolton before he was transferred to Blackburn Rovers in August 1983. He played 81 League games, made four substitute appearances and scored 14 goals for Blackburn Rovers before he was transferred to Wigan Athletic in July 1986. He played 67 League games, made seven substitute appearances and scored 12 goals for Wigan. He was an England Youth international.
He made his first appearance for Blackpool in a friendly game against Hamilton Academicals on 30 July 1988 when Blackpool won 5-2 and made his first competitive appearance as a substitute in the Lancashire Manx Cup tie against Burnley on 13 August 1988 when Blackpool won 2-1. He then began the season in the Blackpool reserve side, making his debut at that level against Notts County reserves on 31 August 1988. He scored Blackpool’s consolation goal in a 5-1 defeat.
He made his League debut for the club as a 65th-minute substitute for Ian Gore against Notts County on 3 September 1988 when Blackpool lost 1-0 and he scored his first League goal for the club in the 3-1 victory over Nottingham Forest on 4 October 1988 after he had replaced Shaun Elliott in the 48th minute. Then, after six appearances from the substitutes’ bench, he made his first start for the League side against Bolton Wanderers on 8 October 1988 when the game was drawn 2-2.
Going on as a 68th-minute substitute for Ian Gore when Blackpool were losing 3-1 to Rotherham United in the Sherpa Van Trophy tie on 17 January 1989 he was one of the so called ‘Houdini heroes’ and scored an 83rd-minute equaliser when he ‘outpaced two defenders and stabbed home from 15 yards’. Blackpool scored a late fourth goal to win 4-3. And keeping his role of super-substitute going, he replaced the injured Keith Walwyn after 62 minutes in the League game against Preston North End on 21 January 1989 and scored the winning goal, ‘worthy of winning any match’, when ‘Andy Garner beat a Preston defender to a long, high clearance kick by Barry Siddall. The former Derby striker headed it on to Thompson, who caught it on his chest on the edge of the 18-yard box. The ball sat up invitingly for him, and with Craig Madden waiting but not needed in the middle, Thompson lashed it past Roy Tunks from the left hand side of the goal.’
Blackpool won 1-0 and Thompson said of his goal, ‘It fell for me nicely after Andy Garner won the ball following a long clearance kick from Barry Siddall. The ball seemed to sit up for ages and I hit it just right. I was delighted to see it go in and I just hope I can carry on scoring goals.’ Manager Sam Ellis was delighted that the goal came from a midfield player and said, ‘That was good to see, since Mark Taylor was injured we have been short of goals from that department.’
He finished his first season at the club having played 25 League games, plus making 11 substitute appearances, scoring eight goals, one FA Cup tie, plus making three substitute appearances in the League Cup, one substitute appearance in the Lancashire Manx Cup, three games, plus two substitute appearances, scoring one goal, in the Sherpa Van Trophy, 12 Central League appearances, scoring one goal, and one friendly game.
His first appearance of the 1989/90 season was in a friendly game against Southport on 29 July 1989 when Blackpool won 3-1 and then he began the season in the reserve side, playing in the second game of the season on 30 August 1989 against Port Vale reserves who won 3-0. Three days later he made his first League appearance of the 1989/90 season as a 57th-minute substitute for Andy Garner against Shrewsbury Town on 2 September 1989 when Blackpool lost 1-0.
He made his first League start in the following game, a 2-0 defeat by Bristol City on 9 September 1989 but then he returned to Central League football. However, he was recalled to League action against Cardiff City on 21 October 1989. What turned out to be his final League game for the club was a 1-0 victory. He did, however, make one final first team appearance in the League Cup third round tie against Exeter City on 25 October 1989. Craig Madden replaced him after 61 minutes as Blackpool surprisingly lost 3-0.
He played a few further Central League games, scoring his only goal of the season in a 2-0 victory over York City reserves on 14 November 1989, before he was transferred to Cardiff City in March 1990.
His almost two-season Blackpool career encompassed in all competitions 34 games, plus making 19 substitute appearances, scoring nine goals. In addition he played 22 Central League games, scoring two goals, and two friendly games.
For Cardiff City he played one League game and made one substitute appearance but he did make a comeback to League football with Walsall in February 1991 when he played three League games for the club.
He later returned to Blackpool to work as an insurance agent but died in the west Midlands.