Dundee United and Saints legend Billy Thomson dies at 64
Posted by  badge Boss on Feb 07, 2023 - 03:12PM
Billy Thomson in a promotional photo for the Scotland team in 1979 (Picture: Supplied)

Tributes have poured in for goalkeeping great Billy Thomson, who has died at the age of 64.

Thomson started his career with Partick Thistle before moving to St Mirren, where he won his seven Scotland caps.

The keeper, who was born in Lindwood, Renfrewshire, played in the 1987 UEFA Cup final for Dundee United after helping Jim McLean’s men beat Barcelona home and away and later moved to Motherwell, where he was in goal for the club’s first European game in 1991.

Thomson signed for Rangers in 1994 before joining Dundee two years later, where he also started his coaching career.

He returned to Rangers in 2001, joined Kilmarnock in 2007 for a coaching spell, and was Stranraer’s keeping coach in the past 18 months.

Thomson in goal for Dundee United in the 1988 Scottish Cup Final against Celtic (Picture: Allsport)

His former clubs were quick to pay tribute. St Mirren wrote: ‘Billy joined St Mirren in August 1978 after being signed from Partick Thistle. He would make 284 appearances in the Black and White and was a part of our memorable Anglo Scottish Cup winning side of 1980 before departing the club for Dundee United in 1984.

‘In May 2022, Billy took his rightful place in the St Mirren Hall of Fame.’

United wrote: ‘Billy faced the unenviable task of taking over the gloves from Hamish McAlpine.

‘A first-team regular until 1991, the goalkeeper made over 200 appearances for United, including being part of the squad that went all the way to the UEFA Cup final in ‘87.’ Rangers wrote: ‘He was in the Rangers squad in the seasons 1994/95 and 1995/96, where he made seven appearances.

Thomson became goalkeeping coach for Rangers in later years (Picture: Supplied)

‘He returned to Rangers as goalkeeping coach in the early 2000s, and worked with Stefan Klos and current goalkeeper Allan McGregor.’

Thomson also coached former Scotland goalkeeper Rab Douglas at Dundee.
He wrote on Twitter: ‘Absolutely devastated to hear of the passing of Billy Thomson. A total gentleman and top coach – one of football’s best without a doubt.

‘Thinking about Louise and the family. Rest easy coach, I will have a malt tonight for you.’ Thomson served under ten Kilmarnock managers during his 14-year spell at Park.

The club wrote: ‘Responsible for the nurturing and development of numerous first-team and academy goalkeepers, Billy also worked alongside the likes of Alan Combe, Jamie MacDonald and more recently Daniel Bachmann who played a starring role as Kilmarnock secured European football under the guidance of Steve Clarke in 2019.

‘Clarke subsequently called upon his trusted colleague to join the coaching staff for his initial matches in charge of the Scotland national team.’

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