Bobby Thomson (footballer, born 1937)

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Bobby Thomson
Personal information
Full name Robert Gillies McKenzie Thomson[1]
Date of birth (1937-03-21) 21 March 1937 (age 80)
Place of birth Dundee, Scotland
Playing position Forward
Youth career
Albion Rovers
1952–1953 Airdrieonians
1953–1954 Wolverhampton Wanderers
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1954–1959 Wolverhampton Wanderers 1 (1)
1959–1963 Aston Villa 140 (56)
1963–1967 Birmingham City 114 (23)
1967–1968 Stockport County 17 (0)
1968–1970 Bromsgrove Rovers
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Robert Gillies McKenzie "Bobby" Thomson (born 21 March 1937) is a Scottish former professional footballer, who played as a forward. He played most of his professional career in the West Midlands, making over 300 appearances in total for the two Birmingham clubs, and is probably best known for his four years at Aston Villa.


Thomson was born in Dundee, Scotland. He began his football career as an amateur first with Albion Rovers and then Airdrieonians. Following successful trials he moved to First Division champions Wolverhampton Wanderers in 1953 and signed professional forms in 1954. During Thomson's five years at the club, Wolves won the League twice more and never finished below sixth. However, he was unable to establish himself as a first-team player and managed just one League first-team appearance, scoring in a 2–0 win over Newcastle United on 13 April 1957.[citation needed]

He transferred to Aston Villa, newly relegated to the Second Division, in 1959 for a fee of £8,000.[2] Here, he made an immediate impact, scoring 22 goals in his first season, which made him the club's top scorer and helped them win the 1959–60 Second Division championship. He followed this up with 18 goals the next season and another 18 in 1962–63.[2] He played in the final of the inaugural League Cup competition in 1960–61 in which Aston Villa beat Rotherham United. Two years later he scored in the first leg of the 1963 League Cup Final against Birmingham City, but in the second leg he was marked out of the game by former England centre-half Trevor Smith, a significant factor in Birmingham retaining their 3–1 lead.[3]

In September 1963 Thomson moved to Birmingham City. In his first season, he was used in a variety of positions, eventually settling in at centre-forward alongside the newly arrived and prolific Geoff Vowden. Their goals failed to prevent relegation to the Second Division in 1964–65. In his last full season he played successfully at right half in place of captain Ron Wylie who had broken his leg. Wylie's return to fitness and the arrival of former England centre-forward Fred Pickering left no place for Thomson, so in December 1967 he moved to Third Division Stockport County, and then into non-league football with Bromsgrove Rovers.



  1. ^ "Bobby Thomson". Barry Hugman's Footballers. Retrieved 25 February 2017. 
  2. ^ a b "Thomson, Robert". Aston Villa Player Database. Jörn Mårtensson. Retrieved 9 October 2010. 
  3. ^ Ponting, Ivan (15 September 2003). "Obituary: Trevor Smith". The Independent. Retrieved 2 September 2015. Smith was an inspirational figure in both legs of their League Cup victory over local rivals Aston Villa in 1963, especially in the goalless second game at Villa Park, when his tight marking of the combative Bobby Thomson was a crucial factor in the Blues maintaining their 3–1 advantage from the opening encounter. 


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