Cleethorpes-born striker-turned-left-back Leslie Allen “Les” Thomspon was released by Grimsby Town’s YTS programme in early 1987 and was quickly snapped up by Hull City. In October 1987 manager Brian Horton gave him a remarkable debut against Manchester United in the League Cup, and four days later Les scored the only goal of his second game as City beat Ipswich 1-0 in the League. Another goal ten days later in a win at Huddersfield suggested City had unearthed a gem, but Horton used him sparingly over the coming months as first choice strikers returned to fitness. In 1988/89 Eddie Gray had taken over as manager and Thompson was used as a standby left back and midfielder before spending the festive period on loan at Scarborough. He played only one game in 1989/90, starting up front in a 4-5 defeat Bournemouth. In 1990/91 Stan Ternent used Thompson more regularly in the left back position as the Tigers hurtled towards relegation to the Third Division. Terry Dolan took over from Ternent and couldn’t arrest the decline, but Thompson ended his season with a flourish as he scored goals in each of the last two games, a 2-0 win against Plymouth and an unlikely 2-1 win at Newcastle. However these goals were not enough to convince Dolan that Les was worth a new contract and he moved on in the summer.
Thompson joined Maidstone United in July 1991 and was a first team regular, but the club went bust early in 1992 and was expelled from the Football League. Burnley signed Les for the 1992/93 season having just been promoted to the third tier of English senior football (which was newly minted as Division Two due to the creation of the Premier League). Thompson was not able to gain a foothold in the first team in that inaugural season and spent time on loan at Wycombe, assisted the Chairboys to the Conference title and promotion to the Football League. He was a first team regular left back in 1993/94 however, a season that climaxed with promotion after a Wembley play-off win against Stockport County.
Burnley signed Chris Vinnicombe to play left back in the second tier so Thompson quickly left the club, dropping down to the non-leagues with Accrington Stanley. This started a six year period of switching between clubs around the East Lancashire area while working in a leisure centre in Hyndburn. Les was reserve team manager at Accrington in 1998/99 as well as first team player, and broke his leg in February 1999. After one final season at Nelson in 1999/00 Thompson dropped off the footballing radar. He later returned to live in Grimsby and competed in marathon, triathlon and ironman events.
Date/Place of Birth: 23 September 1968, Cleethorpes
Hull City First Game: 7 October 1987, Manchester United H (League Cup Second Round Second Leg), 19 years, 14 days old
Hull City Final Game: 11 May 1991, Newcastle United A (Division Two), 22 years, 230 days old
Grimsby Town (1986-1987), Hull City (1987-1991), Scarborough (1988-1989, loan), Maidstone United (1991-1992), Burnley (1992-1994), Wycombe Wanderers (1993, loan), Accrington Stanley (1994-1995), Great Harwood Town (1995-1996), Clitheroe (1996), Accrington Stanley (1996-1997), Great Harwood Town (1997-1998), Accrington Stanley (1998-1999), Nelson (1999-2000)
Hull City Record
Career: 40 apps, 4 goalsLes Thompson
|1987/88||5 (2)||2||-||-||1 (0)||0||-||-||0 (1)||0|
|1988/89||6 (1)||0||-||-||1 (0)||0||-||-||-||-|
|1990/91||19 (1)||2||1 (0)||0||1 (0)||0||-||-||-||-|