Sunday, 19 December 2010
226 Ian Thompstone
Position : Midfield (also played at centre half and forward)
Played : 1995-96
Appearances : 25
Goals : 1
Now we're into the 1995-96 season, Mick Docherty's only full season in charge and his tenure ended a few days after its close. We've actually already covered all the key men ; what follows is , without being too mean, the motley-est run of players in the whole blog as Docherty struggled to attract anyone to the club. It was a season of two halves, the first was promising with Whitehall and Stuart in great form, the second , after the mauling at Anfield, was absolutely dire and in my opinion the Board saved us from certain relegation in 1996-97 when they gave Docherty his cards. This was also the season covered by the book Kicking In The Wind which has been a very useful aide memoire.
Apart from the return of Ian Gray, this Ian was the only new signing (on a free from Scunthorpe) in the side that kicked off at home to Cardiff. I had been following his career with interest since working with his cousin (a nice lad). He started out at Manchester City making his debut at 17 in April 1988 and scoring but that was his only appearance and he moved on to Oldham in 1990. He never made a first team appearance in 18 months there and moved on to Exeter in January 1992 where he finally made his second League appearance nearly 4 years after his first. He scored 3 in 15 games there but didn't settle in the south west and they allowed him to sign for Halifax in the summer. In a side which ended up losing its League status Ian did quite well scoring 9 in 31 games before Scunthorpe rescued him with a £15,000 bid in March. Ian played upfront less often for the Irons moving to midfield and right back (a position he never took up for us) . He was a regular up to Christmas 1993 but suffered from stomach problems and afterwards struggled to get his place back . He was released in May 1995.
Ian was another player of questionable fitness and the reference to his "strong running" on Scunthorpe's website supports that as he always looked overweight and immobile in his games for us. Ian had one or two decent games at centre half (such as Scunthorpe away) as he was big enough to win the headers but he was too slow to be any threat upfront and just embarrassing in midfield where his distribution was awful. He did inspire my most praised bit of heckling. For a couple of seasons reserve games were at Spotland on a Wednesday night and he was playing in one game with a bandage for a head wound (which Docherty laughably claimed was life-threatening). After witnessing the umpteenth long pass sailing into touch I advised him to put the bandage over his eyes and trust the law of averages to improve his accuracy.
As has already been described in the Derek Hall post , the intention to offer he and Ian new contracts precipitated Docherty's sacking but unlike Derek, Ian found another League club and signed for Scarborough until March 1997. He made 18 appearances for them scoring twice, his last League game being a home draw with Brighton in December 1996. Released in March he joined Bury to the end of the season but they never gave him a game. He moved on to Atherton LR and was last heard in 2002 playing in the Bury Amateur League for Walshaw Sports.