Belfast Telegraph

Former Liverpool and England winger Peter Thompson dies

Signed by Bill Shankly from Preston in 1963, Thompson went on to become a mainstay on the left flank for the Reds.

Former Liverpool and England winger Peter Thompson has died at the age of 76, the Premier League club have announced.

Signed by Bill Shankly from Preston in 1963, Thompson went on to become a mainstay on the left flank for the Reds as he racked up more than 400 appearances and two First Division titles during his decade-long stay at Anfield.

Liverpool wrote on their official Twitter feed: “We’re deeply saddened by the passing of former winger Peter Thompson. RIP Peter.”

Carlisle-born Thompson, who was capped 16 times by England between 1964 and 1970 but was not part of Sir Alf Ramsey’s 1966 World Cup winning squad, made his Preston debut aged 17 in August 1960.

He went on to score 20 goals in 121 appearances before his switch to Liverpool, where he was an ever-present in his first campaign as he helped his new side to the league title in 1963-64.

Thompson was central to Liverpool’s first-ever FA Cup win the following season, scoring the opener in a 2-0 semi-final success over Chelsea before playing every minute of the extra-time victory over Leeds in the Wembley showpiece.

Thompson was absent for only two games as Liverpool reclaimed the league crown in 1965-66 while, in total, he scored 54 goals in 416 matches for the Merseyside club.

Shankly once remarked about Thompson in the latter’s testimonial brochure, according to www.lfchistory.net: “If Peter Thompson would not have taken up football he could have competed in the Olympic games. That’s how good an athlete he was.

“He could run forever, but more importantly in football he could run with the ball – probably the hardest thing to do. He could run every minute of every game, every week, every year better than anybody else.

“His work rate was outstanding, his fitness unequalled, his balance like a ballet dancer. I have no hesitation in placing Peter up among the all-time greats – alongside such players as Tom Finney, Stanley Matthews and George Best.”

He lost his place in the first team because of a knee injury and, in 1973, he joined Bolton, where he ended his playing career five years later having made 117 appearances.

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