Belfast Telegraph

Carrick to retire shirt number in tribute to tragic Jerry Thompson

Gerard ‘Jerry’ Thompson
Gerard ‘Jerry’ Thompson

By Staff Reporter

Carrick Rangers chairman Peter Clarke has revealed that the club has decided to retire Jerry Thompson's number 21 shirt in tribute to the player and in a bid to educate other young footballers about mental health issues.

Carrick player Thompson passed away on Tuesday.

Jerry's mum, Leanne, has spoken about her family's heartbreak and devastation and there has been an outpouring of emotion across Northern Ireland football following the sudden death of the 24-year-old Belfast man, who was a doting dad to seven- month-old Thiago with partner, Samantha.

The tragedy has hit all at Carrick hard, with manager Niall Currie, his players, coaching staff and club officials keen to support Jerry's family at today's funeral in Belfast.

After discussions at the club on Thursday night between the board, management and players, it was decided that the number 21 Carrick top, which Thompson wore with distinction since joining Rangers in the summer, would be retired.

"The first thought behind retiring the number 21 shirt was as a mark of respect and a memory to Jerry who touched everyone at the club," said Carrick chairman Clarke.

"Secondly, the shirt will fill a position inside the club and we want to use its presence to benefit others. At Carrick Rangers, we now have an educational suite and when we are doing certain parts of our educational programmes with groups, it can help us get messages across."

Team mates from Carrick during the Funeral of Irish League Footballer Jerry Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Team mates from Carrick during the Funeral of Irish League Footballer Jerry Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 14/12/19 Team mates from Carrick during The Funeral of Irish League Footballer Jerry Thompson at Sacred Heart Church in Belfast. The north Belfast man passed away suddenly on Tuesday. A popular figure in local football, Jerry also played for Portadown, Larne, Donegal Celtic and Clifonville Olympic. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 14/12/19 Team mates from Carrick during The Funeral of Irish League Footballer Jerry Thompson at Sacred Heart Church in Belfast. The north Belfast man passed away suddenly on Tuesday. A popular figure in local football, Jerry also played for Portadown, Larne, Donegal Celtic and Clifonville Olympic. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 14/12/19 Michael Smith and Caolan Loughran carry the coffin during The Funeral of Irish League Footballer Jerry Thompson at Sacred Heart Church in Belfast. The north Belfast man passed away suddenly on Tuesday. A popular figure in local football, Jerry also played for Portadown, Larne, Donegal Celtic and Clifonville Olympic. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 14/12/19 Michael Smith and Caolan Loughran carry the coffin during The Funeral of Irish League Footballer Jerry Thompson at Sacred Heart Church in Belfast. The north Belfast man passed away suddenly on Tuesday. A popular figure in local football, Jerry also played for Portadown, Larne, Donegal Celtic and Clifonville Olympic. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 14/12/19 Carrick Manager Niall Currie during The Funeral of Irish League Footballer Jerry Thompson at Sacred Heart Church in Belfast. The north Belfast man passed away suddenly on Tuesday. A popular figure in local football, Jerry also played for Portadown, Larne, Donegal Celtic and Clifonville Olympic. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 14/12/19 The Funeral of Irish League Footballer Jerry Thompson at Sacred Heart Church in Belfast. The north Belfast man passed away suddenly on Tuesday. A popular figure in local football, Jerry also played for Portadown, Larne, Donegal Celtic and Clifonville Olympic. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 14/12/19 Portadown Manager Mathew Tipton during The Funeral of Irish League Footballer Jerry Thompson at Sacred Heart Church in Belfast. The north Belfast man passed away suddenly on Tuesday. A popular figure in local football, Jerry also played for Portadown, Larne, Donegal Celtic and Clifonville Olympic. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 14/12/19 Portadown Manager Mathew Tipton during The Funeral of Irish League Footballer Jerry Thompson at Sacred Heart Church in Belfast. The north Belfast man passed away suddenly on Tuesday. A popular figure in local football, Jerry also played for Portadown, Larne, Donegal Celtic and Clifonville Olympic. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 14/12/19 The Funeral of Irish League Footballer Jerry Thompson at Sacred Heart Church in Belfast. The north Belfast man passed away suddenly on Tuesday. A popular figure in local football, Jerry also played for Portadown, Larne, Donegal Celtic and Clifonville Olympic. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 14/12/19 Carrick Manager Niall Currie during The Funeral of Irish League Footballer Jerry Thompson at Sacred Heart Church in Belfast. The north Belfast man passed away suddenly on Tuesday. A popular figure in local football, Jerry also played for Portadown, Larne, Donegal Celtic and Clifonville Olympic. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 14/12/19 Carrick Captain Mark Surgenor at The Funeral of Irish League Footballer Jerry Thompson at Sacred Heart Church in Belfast. The north Belfast man passed away suddenly on Tuesday. A popular figure in local football, Jerry also played for Portadown, Larne, Donegal Celtic and Clifonville Olympic. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 14/12/19 Carrick Manager Niall Currie during The Funeral of Irish League Footballer Jerry Thompson at Sacred Heart Church in Belfast. The north Belfast man passed away suddenly on Tuesday. A popular figure in local football, Jerry also played for Portadown, Larne, Donegal Celtic and Clifonville Olympic. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 14/12/19 Carrick Captain Mark Surgenor at The Funeral of Irish League Footballer Jerry Thompson at Sacred Heart Church in Belfast. The north Belfast man passed away suddenly on Tuesday. A popular figure in local football, Jerry also played for Portadown, Larne, Donegal Celtic and Clifonville Olympic. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 14/12/19 Carrick Captain Mark Surgenor at The Funeral of Irish League Footballer Jerry Thompson at Sacred Heart Church in Belfast. The north Belfast man passed away suddenly on Tuesday. A popular figure in local football, Jerry also played for Portadown, Larne, Donegal Celtic and Clifonville Olympic. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 14/12/19 Cliftonville's Joe Gormley during The Funeral of Irish League Footballer Jerry Thompson at Sacred Heart Church in Belfast. The north Belfast man passed away suddenly on Tuesday. A popular figure in local football, Jerry also played for Portadown, Larne, Donegal Celtic and Clifonville Olympic. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 14/12/19 Larne's Ben Tilney The Funeral of Irish League Footballer Jerry Thompson at Sacred Heart Church in Belfast. The north Belfast man passed away suddenly on Tuesday. A popular figure in local football, Jerry also played for Portadown, Larne, Donegal Celtic and Clifonville Olympic. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 14/12/19 Larne Platers attend The Funeral of Irish League Footballer Jerry Thompson at Sacred Heart Church in Belfast. The north Belfast man passed away suddenly on Tuesday. A popular figure in local football, Jerry also played for Portadown, Larne, Donegal Celtic and Clifonville Olympic. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 14/12/19 The Funeral of Irish League Footballer Jerry Thompson at Sacred Heart Church in Belfast. The north Belfast man passed away suddenly on Tuesday. A popular figure in local football, Jerry also played for Portadown, Larne, Donegal Celtic and Clifonville Olympic. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 14/12/19 The Funeral of Irish League Footballer Jerry Thompson at Sacred Heart Church in Belfast. The north Belfast man passed away suddenly on Tuesday. A popular figure in local football, Jerry also played for Portadown, Larne, Donegal Celtic and Clifonville Olympic. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 14/12/19 The Funeral of Irish League Footballer Jerry Thompson at Sacred Heart Church in Belfast. The north Belfast man passed away suddenly on Tuesday. A popular figure in local football, Jerry also played for Portadown, Larne, Donegal Celtic and Clifonville Olympic. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 14/12/19 The Funeral of Irish League Footballer Jerry Thompson at Sacred Heart Church in Belfast. The north Belfast man passed away suddenly on Tuesday. A popular figure in local football, Jerry also played for Portadown, Larne, Donegal Celtic and Clifonville Olympic. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 14/12/19 The Funeral of Irish League Footballer Jerry Thompson at Sacred Heart Church in Belfast. The north Belfast man passed away suddenly on Tuesday. A popular figure in local football, Jerry also played for Portadown, Larne, Donegal Celtic and Clifonville Olympic. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 14/12/19 Ards Players attend The Funeral of Irish League Footballer Jerry Thompson at Sacred Heart Church in Belfast. The north Belfast man passed away suddenly on Tuesday. A popular figure in local football, Jerry also played for Portadown, Larne, Donegal Celtic and Clifonville Olympic. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 14/12/19 The Funeral of Irish League Footballer Jerry Thompson at Sacred Heart Church in Belfast. The north Belfast man passed away suddenly on Tuesday. A popular figure in local football, Jerry also played for Portadown, Larne, Donegal Celtic and Clifonville Olympic. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 14/12/19 The Funeral of Irish League Footballer Jerry Thompson at Sacred Heart Church in Belfast. The north Belfast man passed away suddenly on Tuesday. A popular figure in local football, Jerry also played for Portadown, Larne, Donegal Celtic and Clifonville Olympic. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 14/12/19 Glentoran Players attend The Funeral of Irish League Footballer Jerry Thompson at Sacred Heart Church in Belfast. The north Belfast man passed away suddenly on Tuesday. A popular figure in local football, Jerry also played for Portadown, Larne, Donegal Celtic and Clifonville Olympic. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 14/12/19 The Funeral of Irish League Footballer Jerry Thompson at Sacred Heart Church in Belfast. The north Belfast man passed away suddenly on Tuesday. A popular figure in local football, Jerry also played for Portadown, Larne, Donegal Celtic and Clifonville Olympic. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 14/12/19 Larne Players including Davy McDaid attend The Funeral of Irish League Footballer Jerry Thompson at Sacred Heart Church in Belfast. The north Belfast man passed away suddenly on Tuesday. A popular figure in local football, Jerry also played for Portadown, Larne, Donegal Celtic and Clifonville Olympic. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 14/12/19 The Funeral of Irish League Footballer Jerry Thompson at Sacred Heart Church in Belfast. The north Belfast man passed away suddenly on Tuesday. A popular figure in local football, Jerry also played for Portadown, Larne, Donegal Celtic and Clifonville Olympic. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 14/12/19 The Funeral of Irish League Footballer Jerry Thompson at Sacred Heart Church in Belfast. The north Belfast man passed away suddenly on Tuesday. A popular figure in local football, Jerry also played for Portadown, Larne, Donegal Celtic and Clifonville Olympic. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 14/12/19 The Funeral of Irish League Footballer Jerry Thompson at Sacred Heart Church in Belfast. The north Belfast man passed away suddenly on Tuesday. A popular figure in local football, Jerry also played for Portadown, Larne, Donegal Celtic and Clifonville Olympic. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 14/12/19 The Funeral of Irish League Footballer Jerry Thompson at Sacred Heart Church in Belfast. The north Belfast man passed away suddenly on Tuesday. A popular figure in local football, Jerry also played for Portadown, Larne, Donegal Celtic and Clifonville Olympic. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 14/12/19 Larne's Martin Donnelly The Funeral of Irish League Footballer Jerry Thompson at Sacred Heart Church in Belfast. The north Belfast man passed away suddenly on Tuesday. A popular figure in local football, Jerry also played for Portadown, Larne, Donegal Celtic and Clifonville Olympic. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

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