John Thomson "Prince of Goalkeepers" 100 Years Old

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Joe O'Rourke
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John Thomson "Prince of Goalkeepers" 100 Years Old

Postby Joe O'Rourke » Wed Jan 21, 2009 12:36 pm

On January 28th 1909 in Kirkcaldy Fife John Thomson was born, his father also John was a miner in Bowhill Colliery, so John was raised in the mining community of Cardenden, he was destined to go on to greater things, and he certainly fulfilled that aspiration.
John would sign for Glasgow Celtic, one of the most famous football teams in the world, in fact Celtic have a history that is second to none in world football, its a history full of magical moments, almost mythical, from its inception through Brother Walfrid, right through the glory years of winning the European Cup,and nine concecutive League Championships, to the present day. The name of Celtic is known throughout the world, the famous green and white hoops are worn with pride in every town and city, from the kids in Africa with no shoes on their feet, to rock legend Rod Stewart on stage in front of 100,000 spectators, the sight is awesome.
And with that magical history throughout our one hundred and twenty years comes many legends, not least of all John Thomson, in fact John was probably the first football playing legend. When i first became a Celtic fan ( in my family, usually about five seconds after birth ) the two songs that were famous were the Celtic Song and the Johnny Thomson Song, both sang by that crooner Glen Daly, every birthday party or at new year someone would sing the Johnny Thomson Song, it never failed to bring a tear to your eye, still does in fact, such was the affection John was held in.
John Thomson acieved more in his short life than most players do in a full career, he made over two hundred appearances for Celtic and was capped four times by Scotland, all by the age of twenty two, we can only imagine what he would have achieved had he been able to continue his career. But even in such a short career he became a great favourite of the Celtic fans, John had everything, agility, concentration, but most of all was brave, he thought nothing of diving at opponents feet, he never thought of his own safety, but it was to prove fatal. John in fact had a very serious injury about eighteen months prior to his collision with Sam English, in a match against Airdrie, he broke his jaw, fractured a few ribs, suffered an injury to his collar bone, and lost two teeth, but once fit again, he just carried on where he left off.
John is laid to rest in Bowhill Cemetery in Cardenden, his funeral was attended by over 30,000 people, many who couldn't afford the train fare had walked it from Glasgow, a distance of some sixty miles. John was eventually inducted in to the Scottish Football Hall of Fame in November of 2008, Tom Greig had written a book called "My Search For Celtic's John", he started a petition to persuade the powers that be that he was worthy of that accolade, Tom put a tremendous amount of work into the campaign, he got great support from Alex Burns and the John Thomson Memorial Committee, even the Prime Minister Gordon Brown got involved, but it was a very popular campaign, and was supported by all the political parties, and that doesn't happen often..
It is now over seventy seven years since John Died, the fact that he is remembered with such affection says it all, every year on the anniversary of his death, the John Thomson Memorial Football Tournament is held, over one hundred kids form all the local schools take part, evey one of them receives an award, this is not a tournament for kids who support Celtic, its for all the kids in Cardenden and the surrounding areas, i'm sure John would be very proud, and great credit must go to Alex Burns and his committee for the outstanding work they put in.
So on January 28th, on the anniversary of John's birth, lets stop for a moment and remember, he may be gone, but will never be forgotten.

John Andrews
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Re: John Thomson "Prince of Goalkeepers" 100 Years Old

Postby John Andrews » Wed Jan 21, 2009 8:15 pm

Nice Piece Joe

gert/canada
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Re: John Thomson "Prince of Goalkeepers" 100 Years Old

Postby gert/canada » Thu Jan 22, 2009 12:48 am

A fitting tribute Joe,hail hail Gert

jbd
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Re: John Thomson "Prince of Goalkeepers" 100 Years Old

Postby jbd » Thu Jan 22, 2009 6:35 pm

It comes from the heart. Well said, that man!

jbd
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Re: John Thomson "Prince of Goalkeepers" 100 Years Old

Postby jbd » Thu Jan 22, 2009 8:00 pm

The fact that so many people walked so far to his funeral, kind of says it all about Celtic fans. Which prompts me to tell a little tale. I have a dear friend in Denmark, who fell in love with our great club in the Dalgleish/Barnes era (yes, what a time to fall in love with Celtic!!!). About twice every year, he travels to Glasgow to watch his team. On EVERY visit, he travels to Bowhill cemetery to lay flowers on John Thomson's grave!!!
It's enough to make your heart go oh,oh, oh, oh...

Joe O'Rourke
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Re: John Thomson "Prince of Goalkeepers" 100 Years Old

Postby Joe O'Rourke » Thu Jan 22, 2009 8:25 pm

You seem to have that effect on people John, thats since you started spreading the faith in Denmark

EDN1CSC
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Re: John Thomson "Prince of Goalkeepers" 100 Years Old

Postby EDN1CSC » Thu Jan 22, 2009 8:43 pm

The John Thomson Song

A young lad named John Thomson,
From the Wellesley Fife he came,
To play for Glasgow Celtic,
And to build himself a name.
On the fifth day of September,
'gainst the Rangers club he played,
From defeat he saved the Celtic,
Ah but what a price he paid.
The ball rolled from the centre,
Young John ran out and dived,
The ball rolled by; young John lay still,
For his club this hero died.
I took a trip to Parkhead,
To the dear old Paradise,
And as the players came out,
Sure the tears fell from my eyes.
For a famous face was missing,
From the green and white brigade,
And they told me Johnny Thomson,
His last game he had played.
Farewell my darling Johnny,
Prince of players we must part,
No more we'll stand and cheer you,
On the slopes of Celtic Park.
Now the fans they all are silent,
As they travel near and far,
No more they'll cheer John Thomson,
Our bright and shining star.
So come all you Glasgow Celtic,
Stand up and play the game,
For between your posts there stands a ghost,
Johnny Thomson is his name.


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