The late David Potter’s Celtic Player of the Day, No.66 – Alan Thompson

There is a natural affinity, one feels, between Celtic and the Geordie nation. There is the same grit and determination, the same hard work and the same wish to see the powerful tools of the establishment humbled. We think of men who have served us well, like Tommy Johnson, Fraser Forster and Alan Thompson.

Photo imago/Miguelez Sports Foto Celtic Glasgow v. Porto Bobo Balde, Neil Lennon, Alan Thompson, Chris Sutton, Joos Valgaeren, Johan Mjällby, Didier Agathe, Stilian Petrov, Henrik Larsson, Robert Douglas

Thompson was already an established player when he joined Celtic in 2000. He had played briefly for Newcastle, then for Bolton Wanderers and Aston Villa, but his best football was played for Celtic.

He played his first game in a League Cup match in September 2000 a few days after the Demolition Derby, and he was an immediate success for Martin O’Neill and the Celtic supporters, and by the end of that first season, although he had been unfortunate to miss the League Cup final, he picked up a League and Cup medal.

 Alan Thompson of Celtic celebrates after scoring the first goal during the UEFA Cup Fourth Round, First Leg match between Celtic and Barcelona at Celtic Park on March 11, 2004  (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

He played a crucial part in the Seville season, and reminded so many people of what an old fashioned left half looked like. Sometimes he got over involved, particularly with Fernando Ricksen of Rangers with whom he had what appeared to be a personal feud. On Martin O’Neill’s last day, he scored the only goal of a lifeless game against Dundee United in the Scottish Cup final of 2005.

Alan never fitted in as well with Gordon Strachan as he had done with Martin O’Neill, and he left the club in 2007 with 4 League medals, 3 Cup medals and 1 League Cup medal.

Celtic’s Alan Thompson scores against Rangers during the Bank of Scotland Scottish Premier League match at Rangers’ Ibrox Stadium, Glasgow.

He also became the first Celtic player to play for England, and returned to the coaching staff of Neil Lennon but without any real success. He still loves Celtic and has been seen at Parkhead on several occasions.

David Potter

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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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