Liverpool Football Club is deeply saddened by the passing of former player Peter Thompson, aged 76.
A shining light for much of Bill Shankly’s reign as Reds manager, the left-winger was a key component of the side that enjoyed sustained – and historic – success during the mid-1960s.
Two league championships, sandwiching the long-craved maiden FA Cup triumph in 1965, were clinched with Thompson a mainstay on the Liverpool flank.
Born in Carlisle, he first came to the club’s attention by knocking them out of the FA Cup while playing for Preston North End in 1962.
Shankly swooped to sign the keen dribbler, whose talent on the ball was matched by his capacity for hard work, 18 months later.
The piece of business – later termed ‘daylight robbery’ by the boss – proved a masterstroke.
Thompson’s all-round game would not look out of place in the modern era; his pace and control frightened opposition defences across the country as Liverpool soared to the summit of English football.
His ability to create chances for teammates was balanced by a penchant for spectacular goals, as evidenced by his tally of 54 in 416 appearances.
Peter played every single league match – and scored six times – in his debut season as Liverpool secured the title ahead of Manchester United in 1963-64.
His contribution to the Reds’ long-awaited capture of the FA Cup was crucial, too.
Thompson scored a famous opening goal in the 2-0 semi-final win over Chelsea that set up a showpiece meeting with Leeds United at Wembley, where he featured for the entirety of an eventual extra-time victory for Shankly’s men.
He missed just two games in the next campaign as the championship was reclaimed. Indeed, the winger was absent for only 10 of a possible 294 league fixtures during his first seven years at Anfield.
When times became tougher towards the end of the decade and Shankly began to build his second great team, Peter maintained his position and influence into the early 1970s.
A knee injury finally curtailed his near-decade-long spell in the first team in 1972 and one of the great Reds careers came to a conclusion when he departed for Bolton Wanderers permanently two years later – his reputation as one of Liverpool’s finest ever wingers guaranteed.
The thoughts of everybody at the club are with Peter’s family and friends at this sad time.
RIP Peter Thompson 1942-2018