Phil Thompson is a retired English football player who was born in 1954. He is best known for playing as a defender for Liverpool although he also had a two year spell at Sheffield United. Furthermore he also represented England a total of forty two times. After retirement he moved into management and eventually became the assistant manager at Liverpool.
Liverpool Football Club
As a child Phil was a keen Liverpool supporter who stood in the famous kop watching his beloved team. His childhood dream was to play for his favourite team and this ambition was fulfilled in 1971 when he signed as a professional on the day after his seventeenth birthday.
He made his debut the following year in a game against Manchester United. He was tall and skinny lad and it was rumoured that he was put on a diet of steak and chips by Bill Shankly! Nevertheless, he was made of stern stuff and rose admirably to the challenges given to him.
Phil played part in the successes of 1973 when Liverpool won both the League and the UEFA Cup. However, it was in 1974 that Thommo, as he was affectionately known, really came of age. Liverpool reached the final of the FA Cup and Phil played in every game en route to Wembley. He man marked ‘Supermac’ Macdonald out of the game as Liverpool beat opponents Newcastle United with a 3-0 win.
In subsequent years Phil continued to play a major role for his team who once again won the League and the UEFA Cup in 1976. Phil was recognised for his style and grace, and his partnership with the legendary Emlyn Hughes even resulted Liverpool changing their style of play. For example, they started playing from the back rather than launching long balls up to the centre forwards.
When Emlyn Hughes left the club Phil was the natural choice of successor for captaincy. Phil was thrilled to be able to lift the League Cup in 1981 and even more delighted when the Reds won the European Cup for the third time after beating Real Madrid 1-0 in Paris. This was probably his proudest moment as Liverpool skipper.
International Football Career
Phil played frequently for England and achieved a total of forty two caps. He was part of the squad that qualified for the finals of the European Championships in 1980.
Retirement From Playing
Following his retirement from profesional football, Phil worked as reserves manager under Kenny Dalglish. He left this role in 1992, but returned as assistant manager to Gerard Houllier in the late 1990s. He spent several months as caretaker manager when Gerard Houllier was seriously ill with heart problems. When Houllier left the club Phil did too.
He has since worked as a football pundit and it is clear from his work in the media that Liverpool is still very close to his heart.
Matthew Willetts MA is the Director of Comicus who has over 35 years experience in television, film, theatre, and comedy club/cabaret entertainment, working as a performer, screenwriter, producer and agent. He lectured at Southampton Solent University in Comedy, Screenwriting, Television, Theatre & Radio. Matthew can sometimes be seen and heard on TV & Radio and often quoted in the national press and media publications. As well as speaking regularly at festivals and industry conferences, he has been a judge at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and the Montreux Television Festival.
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