Chris Thompson was born in Walsall on 24th January 1960 and was signed as a midfield player by Blackpool after a free transfer from Wigan Athletic in July 1988. He had begun his career as an apprentice at Bolton Wanderers for whom he signed as a professional in July 1977. He was an England Youth international and played 66 League games, and scored 18 goals for Bolton before they loaned him to Lincoln City in March 1983. He played just six League games for the Imps before Bolton transferred him to Blackburn Rovers in August 1983. Thompson went onto to play 85 League games, and scored 14 goals for Blackburn Rovers before he then joined Wigan Athletic in July 1986. He played 74 League games and scored a hat-trick against his home town club Walsall on his fourth appearance and finished with a total of 12 goals for the latics.
Blackpool Career - "The Houdini hero"
Chris Thompson made his first appearance for Blackpool when he came on as a substitute in the Lancashire Manx Cup tie against Burnley on 13 August 1988 which Blackpool won 2-1. He made his League debut for the Seasiders when he again came off the subs bench against Notts County on 3 September 1988 in a game Pool lost 1-0.
He scored his first goal for Blackpool in the 3-1 victory over Nottingham Forest on 4 October 1988 after he had replaced Keith Walwyn in the second half.
Finally after six successive appearances from the substitutes’ bench,Thompson made his first start for the League side in the 2-2 draw against his former side Bolton Wanderers on 8 October 1988.
Going on as a second half substitute when the tangerines were losing 3-1 to Rotherham United in the Sherpa Van Trophy tie on 17 January 1989 he was one of the “Houdini heroes” and scored an 83rd minute equaliser when he “outpaced two defenders and stabbed home from 15 yards”. Blackpool then went onto to score a late fourth goal to win 4-3.
Thompson replaced the injured Keith Walwyn after 62 minutes in the League game against Preston North End on 21 January 1989 and scored the winning goal, “worthy of winning any match”, when “Andy Garner beat a Preston defender to a long, high clearance kick by Barry Siddall. The former Derby striker headed it on to Thompson, who caught it on his chest on the edge of the 18-yard box. The ball sat up invitingly for him, and with Craig Madden waiting but not needed in the middle, Thompson lashed it past Roy Tunks from the left hand side of the goal.” Blackpool won 1-0 and he said of his goal, “It fell for me nicely after Andy Garner won the ball following a long clearance kick from Barry Siddall. The ball seemed to sit up for ages and I hit it just right. I was delighted to see it go in and I just hope I can carry on scoring goals.” Manager Sam Ellis was delighted that the goal came from a midfield player and said, “That was good to see, since Mark Taylor was injured we have been short of goals from that department.”
Chris Thompson He played 25 League games, made 11 substitute appearances, scoring eight goals, one FA Cup tie, made three substitute appearances in the League Cup, one substitute appearance in the Lancashire Manx Cup and three games, plus two substitute appearances, scoring one goal, in the Sherpa Van Trophy in the 1988/89 season.
He made his first League appearance of the 1989/90 season as a substitute against Shrewsbury Town when Blackpool lost 1-0 and seven days later made his first League start in a 2-0 defeat by Bristol City on 9 September 1989.
What turned out to be his final League game for the club was a 1-0 victory over Cardiff City on 21 October 1989.
Four days later he made one final first team appearance in the League Cup third round tie against Exeter City but was substituted before the end as Blackpool surprisingly lost 3-0.
In March 1990 he was transferred to Cardiff City where he played just one league game for the Bluebirds. He did make a shortlived comeback to League football with his hometown club Walsall in February 1991 but he played only three League games for the club.
Chris passed away at the weekend aged 52 and we send our sincere condolences to his family and friends.