When Thommo came to town
The Holy Poet sends in this delightful tale :
30th of July 2016 and The Horse Guardsman had its fair share of West London Supporters’ Club’s Members, along with other Tims, in to watch Their Hoops take on the might of Barcelona. Some things never surprise us as Effin Ambrose put through his own net but a catastrophe at the other end allowed Leigh Griffiths to slot home one of the simplest goals he’ll manage in his career. We eventually lost 3-1 but at least there were some positives to take from the game.
Eddie and I went through our sheets prior to ordering our new Twentieth Anniversary shirts and took in a few memberships as well. Eddie left about 9 o’clock and about ten minutes later Danny Doherty came in. He came up to me and told me there was someone I should meet and standing in the middle of the bar was Alan Thompson, ex Celtic legend.
Danny told me how he was talking about golf a bit earlier to a mate when he was up at The New Inn, the WLCSC’s ancestral home, and a man standing alone outside heard his Glasgow accent and started talking to him. Soon they got around to football and Alan asked Danny if he was a Celtic supporter. Yes said Danny. Alan said I used to play for them and Danny says “Celtic Juniors? No, the first team and that’s when he told Danny his name. Strangely, no-one recognised our Thommo in there! Not even Danny.
After the introductions, Alan made himself available to everyone, posing for pics, and then John “The Flag” Kelly’s brought over his trusty rucksack and brought out his flag which he carries with him at all times and Alan signed it for him. Peter Barbour, who joined our swelling ranks last night done his fair share of photobombing. Kenny Sweeney rejoined but left before Thommo came in. He was gutted.
He told us stories of his friendships and not so friendly encounters with those from the dark side and when we asked what McCoist said to Lennon, he said “I can’t remember”. No surprise there either. He is definitely a man who does not suffer fools, gladly or otherwise but he’s a man who knows how to tell a story. He complimented Noel on his music selection and was chanting away quite the thing. I was surprised how comfortable every one of us felt in his company and he with us. Just a bhoy from Newcastle who not only played for The Hoops but is a lifelong fan of them and the fans too.
He spent hours with us and spoke with Ryan at length as his son is going to university in Belfast so who better to talk to than Ryan.
He spoke about all the Seville bhoys and many more besides inc the Lisbon Lions. How after the game against Boavista, they just sat in the dressing room having a smoke and couldn’t believe they’d just reached the final. He spoke again of the Dutch brigade at Ibrox, especially a story about Fernando Ricksen and then told us about his mate Joey Barton.
He was leaving to fly back to Newcastle this morning on the 7.30am flight but this pint he came out for was meaning less and less sleep. If any! He made sure he bought his round too and Ryan was first to put on Facebook a pic with the legend saying Alan Thompson just bought me a pint. Meanwhile Danny’s shouting, Alan it’s your round. Then it was outside for another smoke, another story and another laugh. It was a cracking night and I asked Alan, after talking to a few of the guys, if I should ask Alan to be our Honorary President. Well, Rod hasn’t got in touch. Alan immediately said Yes and if there was anything he could do for us, like signed shirts or anything then all we have to do is ask.
To write everything down would take days and I need to find my head right now! All in all, a brilliant night with a real gentleman, one of us, one of The Bhoys. Thanks Alan and hope the West London CSC Twentieth Anniversary fits you. HH.
For more Thommo Glory – see here: