Garry Thompson (footballer, born 1959)

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This article is about the retired footballer. For the Bradford City footballer, see Garry Thompson (footballer born 1980).
For other people named Garry Thompson, see Garry Thompson (disambiguation).
Garry Thompson
Personal information
Full name Garry Lindsey Thompson
Date of birth (1959-10-07) 7 October 1959 (age 55)
Place of birth Birmingham, England
Height 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Playing position Striker
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1977–1983 Coventry City 134 (38)
1983–1985 West Bromwich Albion 91 (39)
1985–1986 Sheffield Wednesday 36 (7)
1986–1988 Aston Villa 60 (17)
1988–1990 Watford 34 (8)
1990–1991 Crystal Palace 20 (3)
1991–1993 Queens Park Rangers 19 (1)
1993–1995 Cardiff City 43 (5)
1995–1997 Northampton Town 50 (6)
National team
1981–1982 England U21 6 (3)
Teams managed
2001 Bristol Rovers (caretaker)
2001–2002 Bristol Rovers
2004 Brentford (caretaker)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Garry Thompson (born 7 October 1959 in Birmingham, England) is a former professional footballer and football manager, who played as a striker. His younger brother, Keith Thompson, was also a professional footballer.[1]

He began his 20-year-long career at Coventry City as a trainee and earned his first professional contract at that club. A fast and exciting player, he was a fans favourite and was part of the Sky Blues team which reached the 1981 League Cup semi-final. He was also a prominent member of the Aston Villa team that gained promotion to the old first division in the 1987–88 season. Besides Coventry, Thompson went on to play for West Bromwich Albion, Sheffield Wednesday, Aston Villa, Watford, Crystal Palace, Queens Park Rangers, Cardiff City and Northampton Town, making a total of 487 league appearances and scoring 124 league goals. Thompson played his final professional game for Northampton in 1997. Whilst at Cardiff in December 1993 it was his goal which gave them a 1–0 win over South Wales rivals Swansea, however the goal and the victory sparked off a mass pitch invasion and subsequent violence in what was to become one of the most notorious moments in Welsh football.

Although he spent several seasons as an inventive and influential player at top-flight clubs, he was never selected for the England international squad, though his name was regularly mentioned prior to call-ups. His non-selection is thought to be because he never played for any of the more illustrious top-flight English clubs rather than a lack of international-class ability. This was all the more surprising considering he played six times as an England Under-21 international whilst playing at his peak during the 1981–1982 season, scoring on three occasions.

After retiring as a player, he became a coach and in 2001 he took over as caretaker manager of Bristol Rovers following the sacking of Ian Holloway. He remained in charge for 23 games, until the appointment of Gerry Francis. When Francis resigned five months later, Thompson was given the Bristol Rovers job on a permanent basis,[2] although he lasted only four months before being dismissed.[3] In 2004 he was caretaker manager of Brentford for one game between Wally Downes and Martin Allen.[4]

He joined Conference North side Hucknall Town in February 2006 as assistant to then manager Kevin Wilson, combining his position with a full-time role in promotions. With Hucknall struggling financially, Thompson was released from his contract in December 2006.[5] The Hucknall chairman has denied the reason was financial.[6]


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