633 Les Thompson

Biography

Cleethorpes-born striker-turned-left-back Leslie Allen “Les” Thompson was released by Grimsby Town’s YTS programme in April 1986 and was quickly snapped up by Hull City’s Juniors, signing his first professional contract a year later in May 1987. In October 1987 manager Brian Horton gave him a remarkable debut in the League Cup against Manchester United, lining up in midfield opposite Bryan Robson, Gordon Strachan and Norman Whiteside. 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 players returned to fitness.

In the 1988/89 season Eddie Gray took over as manager and Thompson was used as a standby left back and midfielder before spending December 1988 on loan at Scarborough, making three appearances. He played only one game in the 1989/90 season, starting up front in a remarkable 4-5 defeat at Bournemouth. In the 1990/91 season manager 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 towards the end of the 1990/91 season and couldn’t arrest the decline, Thompson ended his season with a flourish as he scored goals in each of the last two games, a 2-0 win against Plymouth Argyle and an unlikely 2-1 win at Newcastle United. However these goals were not enough to convince Dolan that Les was worth a new contract and he moved on in the summer of 1991.

Thompson joined Maidstone United in July 1991 and was first team regular left back during the 1991/92 season scoring once in 45 appearances. Les was signed by Burnley in July 1992, weeks before Maidstone United went bust in August 1992 and was expelled from the Football League. Burnley had just been promoted to the third tier of English senior football – the newly minted League Division 2 as a result of 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 Conference National side Wycombe Wanderers, scoring six goals in 32 league appearances and assisting the Chairboys to the league title and promotion to the Football League. Les returned to Burnley for the 1993/94 season and was a first team regular left back in a season that climaxed with promotion to League Division 1 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 in August 1994 to sign for Northern Premier League side Accrington Stanley – by the end of the 1994/95 season Les was captain of the Accies and a first team regular, scoring four goals in 37 appearances. He left Stanley in September 1995 to return to Grimsby, though he soon returned to the Lancashire area and started the 1996/97 season at North West Counties League side Clitheroe. Thompson returned to Accrington Stanley in January 1997 and for several more years he continued to move around clubs in the East Lancashire area while working at a leisure centre in Hyndburn. Les was reserve team manager at Accrington Stanley during the 1998/99 season as well as first team player, in January 1999 he was briefly caretaker manager of the first team. After one final year at West Lancashire League side Nelson in the 1999/00 season Thompson dropped off the footballing radar. He later returned to live in Grimsby and competed in marathon, triathlon and ironman events.

Details

Nationality: England
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

Clubs

Grimsby Town (1984-1986), Hull City (1986-1991), Scarborough (1988-1989, loan), Maidstone United (1991-1992), Burnley (1992-1994), Wycombe Wanderers (1993, loan), Accrington Stanley (1994-1995), Clitheroe (1996-1997), Accrington Stanley (1997), Great Harwood Town (1997-1998), Accrington Stanley (1998-1999), Nelson (1999-2000)

Hull City Record

Career: 40 apps, 4 goals

Les Thompson
SeasonLGE
App
LGE
Gls
FAC
App
FAC
Gls
FLC
App
FLC
Gls
EUR
App
EUR
Gls
OTH
App
OTH
Gls
1986/87
1987/885 (2)21 (0)00 (1)0
1988/896 (1)01 (0)0
1989/901 (0)0
1990/9119 (1)21 (0)01 (0)0

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.