Saturday, 29 May 2010

27 Stewart Thompson

Position : Forward

Played : 1982-3 to 1983-4

Appearances : 31

Goals : 8

Stewart is the first player in our survey not to have played for any other League club. He's also the first one who is still playing !

After Barry Wellings' departure Stewart, from Littleborough, was the third striker at the club so it was inevitable he would get more games in the later part of the season. I'm surprised, looking up the stats, that his record is actually quite decent as I remember him being pants. A big guy with a blonde feathercut and moustache he thought he was better than he was and often cocked things up by trying to be fancy. He also lacked composure in the box and missed decent chances.

Peter Madden loaned him out to Runcorn for a month but he got more first team opportunities under Jimmy Greenhoff and did himself no harm by scoring in each of the new manager's first two games. The following season he scored in the win away at Blackpool which ended our eighteen month wait for an away victory. His best game was in the 3-3 draw at home to Doncaster on Jan 2nd 1984 when Greenhoff played him in midfield. He had a good first half tackling well and finding his men. I remember remarking on this to a friend who hadn't realised it was Thompson ! Then in the second half he spotted the keeper off his line and chipped him from 25 yards. A few minutes later he tried the same thing from a much tighter angle and just squeezed it into the top corner - an absolute wonder goal. Unfortunately our new superstar came back to earth in the next game in the FA Cup Third Round against Telford when his suicidal back pass let them in for the equaliser and started the rot. His career in midfield ended there and then and up front he had new competition from Malcolm O Connor and Jim McCluskie. He scored one more goal away at Northampton but his time at Spotland was drawing to a close.

He surprised everyone in the close season by somehow wrangling a trial at FC Bruges but sanity prevailed and he went to Chorley instead. He played against us for Bacup Borough in a pre-season friendly in the late 80s. He is now assistant manager at Nelson FC and still plays for them occasionally at 45.

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