The name John Thomson is to this very day one which conjures all sorts of feelings for Celtic supporters. Regardless of their age, every fanatical fan will be sure to have heard of his name
Born in Kirkcaldy on 28th January 1909, John joined Celtic at the age of 17 from Wellesley Juniors, a club still going to this day.
Growing up as a Celtic supporter, the fables and recollections of our heroes are passed down to us by our relatives and fellow supporters.
For me, the earliest recollection of John’s story came to the fore through an unusual glass handed down to me by a family member.
I have always read about Celtic’s history and have a vast array of books and programmes which I have had since childhood.
When I was around 12 years old my step-father told me of some Celtic items which had been given to his elderly aunt by a family member who had passed away. She lived in Glasgow and as we were in Ayrshire we tried to visit her every couple of months in the late 1970’s – a trip to Glasgow was a big trip to any child.
His aunt passed to me a box which contained a mish mash of Celtic pennants, badges, photos and match programmes.
Hand painted, a small sherry glass caught my eye; more so than the other objects in this ‘goodie bag’. On it, etched in gold lettering, it said ‘Good Old Celtic – J. Thomson’ and showed the goalkeeper jumping to catch a ball. The appeal of this item encouraged me to find out more about the eternal Celtic legend.
At such a young age I never knew the full story of this player so I sat down and listened to her as she explained to me the disaster of him being killed whilst playing a game of football against The Rangers football club.
To this day, the glass is still carefully taken care of and I am really proud to have this as part of my collection, however, you can see from the picture some of the writing has come off but I feel this adds a sense of history to it.
Despite not knowing if it has a monetary value, the sentimental value of this glass is something which is so much more meaningful. It has a historical attachment to the club I adore and I’m proud to own something that I’m pretty sure no other supporter can confess to having – I have my own little piece of Celtic. The legend of the Prince of Goalkeepers lives on through me; well a small portion of it does.
I took a trip to Parkhead,
To the dear old Paradise,
And as the players came out,
Sure the tears fell from my eyes.
For a famous face was missing,
From the green and white brigade,
And they told me Johnny Thomson,
His last game he had played.