Readers’ letters

Christine Abram with Mary and Tommy Thompson at Sir Tom Finney's dinner. See letter
Christine Abram with Mary and Tommy Thompson at Sir Tom Finney's dinner. See letter
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Tommy – a true gentleman

It is with great sadness to hear of the passing of my friend and former playing colleague Tommy Thompson (Topper).

Like Sir Tom Finney, Tommy was also the perfect gentleman on and off the field, and, like myself, Tommy was a long-standing member of the PNE former players association, also a very valued member of the players’ committee. As most supporters of my era will remember, he was a top sportsman, great player and a sensational goal scorer.

We used to speak often about his career and the game in general, discussing particularly his decision to join North End when he had so many offers from other clubs.

He said throughout his career he always hoped to play in the same team as the great Sir Tom Finney, and as many supporters know what a fabulous partnership it became.

As far as I know, Tommy was the only player to play with both of the greatest wingers in the game, Sir Tom Finney and Stan Matthews.

A story he told me was after he left PNE, he signed for Stoke City.

Not long after that, the Stoke manager drew up a meeting with all the players.

He stated, Stan Matthews is joining us next week and, as you all know, our attendees are 15,000 to 16,000. The directors have agreed that, for every thousand over that figure, you will be paid a bonus of £2 for every thousand plus. This was a time when we were all on £20 weekly! The first match Stan appeared, 25,000 showed up.

And for some time, Tommy became one of the highest paid players of that era.

It was a privilege for myself to be a good friend and colleague to this wonderful footballer.

Tommy, you will now be able to renew your friendship with the greatest Sir Tom.

What a great team heaven is going to have. Tommy RIP.

Eric Jones, PNE Former Players Association, New Longton, Preston

Paying tribute to a legend

My husband Norman and I would like to pay tribute to a true soccer legend, Tommy Thompson.

He was a brilliant footballer and a true gentleman in the same mould as Sir Tom Finney, his dear friend. We have known Mary and Tommy for many years. Mary worked at our daughter’s primary school and Tommy built an extension on our home.

Unlike today’s overpaid footballers, Tommy and his fellow players needed another skill to supplement their pay.

No big pay-outs on their retirement from the game.

When I was Mayor of Preston, Tommy and Sir Tom were very supportive and came to a couple of charity cricket matches we organised at South Meadow Lane. The above photo was taken at Sir Tom Finney’s dinner. We were proud to call them our friends.

Christine and Norman Abram, Cottam

League is no longer premier

Should we rename the much-hyped English Premier League something more appropriate, which reflects the lack of footballing ability of these grossly overpaid children stuck in adult bodies?

Harsh? Teams from our self-proclaimed ‘best league in the world’ met European opposition recently and came a distant second. We have a league awash with money from Sky and BT (which comes out of our pockets).

The major clubs are all foreign-owned, none seem to employ English managers and few top sides feature more than a token English player. We cannot have any national team which is going to be successful without our youngsters being able to play, and there is no chance of this.

Owners and managers have nothing to do with the national team. To them, releasing players for international games is an inconvenience. Welcome to the world of ‘English’ Premier League football!

Darryl Ashton, Blackpool

Bee healthy, bee wildlife friendly

A quick thank you for giving such excellent coverage in the Lancashire Evening Post (Friday, September 18) to the opening of a Bee World at St John the Willows Church, Kirkham.

It really was a lovely day and I’m sure the school was delighted with the response.

Friends of the Earth, as you probably know, is involved in the creation of natural habitats in which bees and other pollinators can thrive.

We are also actively campaigning against the use of harmful pesticides, including neonicotinoids, which unfortunately the Government has seen fit to re-introduce in certain areas.

Pesticide-free fields, meadows and gardens are healthy, not just for wildlife, but for our children, too.

With many thanks again.

Mrs Dorothy Kelk, Central Lancashire Friends of the Earth

Going back to 1970s not so bad

Well, if good old Jeremy has done nothing else, he has given the cheap tabloids endless amusement, digging up reams of nonsensical past deeds, either his, or some long-gone relative of his. One has some relative oppressing the poor in a long-gone workhouse!

All obviously true, if the papers say so.

The bit that rang the loudest bell for me, was penned by Richard Madeley. He reckons Corbyn will, given the chance, transport us back to the 1970s. I wouldn’t mind, I had never heard of Richard Madeley in the 70s!

Happy days.

Allan Fazackerley via email

Sound blighted Proms occasion

I was looking forward to the programme The Last Night of the Proms, but where the public are included there is always a background of drumming, regardless of any other sound in the programme, and it just about drives you mad.

The only thing is to switch off.

I have previously written to the BBC about this but, of course, they justify the need and give no explanation for this noise. It has never been as bad before we had all the digital programmes. Could there be any solution?

Mrs V Lloyd, address supplied