RIP Max Thompson

We are saddened to learn of the death of former Southport defender, and club physiotherapist Max Thompson at the age of 66. Thompson played 9 times for the Sandgrounders at the start of the 1989/90 season but is better known for his ten year football league career which started with his home town club Liverpool.

Thompson started his career with the Reds in 1973 as a 15 year old apprentice playing at central defence for the ‘A’ and ‘B’ teams. Signing a professional contract in January 1974 he became Liverpool’s youngest ever player at 17 years and 129 days, a record that stood until 2010, when Bill Shankley handed him his debut, at centre forward, in a first division match against Tottenham Hotspur on the final day of the 1973/74 season. A regular for the championship winning reserve side, he played one further senior game for the club, against Real Sociedad in the 1975-76 UEFA Cup, before leaving for Allan Brown’s Blackpool initially on a two month loan, before making the move permanent for an £80,000 fee. Thompson scored six goals in 99 appearances for the Tangerines, spending the summers of 1977 and 1978 in the North American Soccer League (NASL) with Dallas Tornado and the Seattle Sounders.

With Blackpool having fallen to the Fourth Division, Thompson, although a regular at Blackpool after 109 appearances, found a move back to the top flight, signing for former Liverpool colleague John Toshack’s Swansea City for £40,000, and helped the Swans to a sixth placed finish in 1981-82. He scored twice in 26 league games at the Vetch field club and then moved to Bournemouth where he made a further nine appearances, and had a brief loan spell at Port Vale.

Returning to the NASL in the summer months he joined Baltimore Blast making 39 appearances.

Thompson had a brief spell in Portugal at Academia de Coimbra before returning to England to finish his career playing non league football with Northwich Victoria, Caernarfon Town, Fleetwood Town and Newport County.

A short fell at Swedish side Kramfors proceeded his signing at Haig Avenue.

After hanging up his boots, Thompson undertook a football injuries course at Lilleshall after which he rejoined Southport as physiotherapist.

His final role in football was as manager for Knowsley United. Life after football saw him as an ambulance driver.