The late David Potter’s Celtic Player of the Day, No.56 – Bertie Thomson

Bertie Thomson was a brilliantly talented but tragically ill-disciplined right winger in the early 1930s. He first played for Celtic in the 1929/30 season, but 1930/31 saw him at his best on the right wing reminding the old timers of Alec Bennett.

He was fast, hard tackling, feisty (he was ordered off in the Glasgow Cup final against Rangers) and immediately won the hearts of the Celtic support. Indeed he was very much one of them.

It was Bertie who saved the day in the first final against Motherwell. The story that he was deliberately holding on to the ball to keep it as a souvenir seems to have been a joke started by himself but take seriously some journalist (who would want a souvenir of a game they had lost?) but in any event he crossed the ball, and the luckless Alan Craig headed into his own net. Bertie then scored twice in the 4-2 victory in the replay.

Bertie Thomson scored twice

In autumn 1932 he had his first falling out the Maley after his Manager accused him of not training hard enough. He apologised and was accepted back, winning another Cup medal in 1933, but things deteriorated after that and he subsequently played for Blackpool and Motherwell.

Photograph taken in Detroit while on their visit to play Michigan all Stars who they beat 5-0 at the University of Detroit Stadium. While in the city they were given a tour of the famous Ford Motor Works.

He was careless in his private life with money and even with his health. Just turned 30, he died of heart failure to the distress of the thousands who adored him.

David Potter

David Potter passed away peacefully on Sunday morning 30 July 2023. You can read the message we received from David’s wife Rosemary HERE.

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About Author

I am Celtic author and historian and write for The Celtic Star. I live in Kirkcaldy and have followed Celtic all my life, having seen them first at Dundee in March 1958. I am a retired teacher and my other interests are cricket, drama and the poetry of Robert Burns.

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