Thursday, May 31, 2007

100 Person Who Shock The Kop - NO 27: Phil Thompson


At number 27 in our '100 Players Who Shook The Kop' countdown is European Cup winning captain of 1981, Phil Thompson.
Four years after our ground-breaking '100 Days That Shook The Kop', we are delighted to invite you to enjoy our new '100 Players Who Shook The Kop' series – the definitive countdown of the 100 players who have made the biggest impact at Liverpool.

Over 110,000 supporters have all nominated their own personal Top 10 players in order of impact made and now the definitive top 100 countdown is underway.

Every player who has made the top 100 – and there are some surprises in there - will be honoured on this website via the e-Season ticket console with a specially produced video clip, including archive footage and exclusive interviews.

Since 1892 hundreds of players have represented this club but everyone has their own particular favourites so don't expect this list to be based solely on talent. The greatness of a player can be measured in many ways – obviously, his ability on the pitch is the most important, but 100 PWSTK is much more than that. It's about the impact the individuals chosen have had on this club, be it for a variety of reasons. Maybe it was because of their unique rapport with the crowd, a specific incident that has never been forgotten or anything else that has left a lasting impression.

Name: Phil Thompson

Years at Liverpool: 1971 to 1985
Position: Defender

Date-of-birth: 21/1/1954
Birthplace: Liverpool

Signed from: Apprentice (January 1971)

Games: 477
Goals: 13

Honours: First Division Championship (1972/73, 1975/76, 1976/77, 1978/79, 1979/80, 1981/82, 1982/83), European Cup (1978, 1981), FA Cup (1974), UEFA Cup (1975/76), League Cup (1981, 1982), Super Cup (1977), Charity Shield (1974, 1976, 1977, 1979, 1980, 1982)

When lifelong Liverpudlian Phil Thompson proudly held aloft the European Cup at the Parc de Prince in May 1981 it was the realisation of a dream and one that gave hope to many aspiring local youngsters. From an ordinary working class background in Kirkby Thommo made meteoric progress through the ranks and scaled the highest peak. And no-one could begrudge this hard-working professional his moment of fame. He initially joined his idols as a spindly-legged apprentice and skippered the youth team as a midfielder before catching the eye of then manager Bill Shankly who thrust him into the first team without hesitation away to Manchester United in April 1972. Despite his tall and skinny appearance Thompson was made of stern stuff and rose admirably to the challenge. He was put on a diet of steak and chips by Shanks in a bid to build him up, subsequently put on three stone and established himself as a senior side regular the following season, making 14 appearances as the Championship was won. But it was to be in 1974, the year Liverpool reached the FA Cup Final, when he really came of age. Rookie defender Thommo played in every game on route to Wembley and then famously silenced the pre-match taunts of Malcolm 'SuperMac' Macdonald as the Reds romped to an impressive 3-0 success. A footballing centre-half of style and grace, his defensive partnership with Emlyn Hughes prompted Liverpool to change their style of play and instead of launching long balls up field to the centre-forwards it became commonplace to play from the back. His undiluted passion for the club meant he never gave less than 100% for the Red cause and a plethora of accolades deservedly came his way. When Hughes left for Wolves, Thompson was the natural candidate to succeed him as captain and he carried on the good work of his former partner by leading Liverpool to more success. In 1979 he was part of a record-breaking back-line that conceded only 16 league goals and two years later enjoyed his finest year. In April '81, Thompson became the first Reds skipper to lift the League Cup, while the following month his beaming smile lit up the night sky in Paris as European Cup number three was captured. His tenure as captain, however, was soon to be brought to an abrupt end as Bob Paisley gave the armband to Graeme Souness following a poor start to the 81/82 campaign. Although the season was to end on another championship winning high, the arrival of Mark Lawrenson meant Thommo's days as a first choice centre-back were numbered. The curtain was eventually brought down on an illustrious Anfield career in 1985 but he left with every boyhood dream fulfilled. He's since been back to the scene of these dreams on two separate occasions as part of the Liverpool coaching staff and, although no longer involved with the club on a day-to-day basis, it's plain to see from his work in the media that LFC remains very much close to his heart.

Sold to: Sheffield United (March 1985)

Claim to fame: Being the first Scouser to lift the European Cup

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