Former Preston North End,Liverpool and England winger Peter Thompson has died

Former PNE winger Peter Thompson
Former PNE winger Peter Thompson

Former Preston North End winger Peter Thompson has died at the age of 76.

Cumbria-born Thompson started his career at North End and went on to play for Liverpool where he won two First Division titles under Bill Shankly.

Peter Thompson as a youngster with Sir Tom Finney

Peter Thompson as a youngster with Sir Tom Finney

Thompson made his PNE debut in a 2-0 win over Arsenal at Deepdale in August 1960, that the first season after Tom Finney had retired.

He scored in the next game against West Bromwich Albion and went on to net 12 goals that campaign - one in which PNE were relegated from the First Division.

The following campaign in the Second Division, Thompson scored 15 times - he also scored the winner against Liverpool in an FA Cup fifth-round replay.

That was a second replay, played at neutral Old Trafford and the reward for North End was a sixth-round clash with Manchester United.

Thompson was an ever-present for Preston in the 1962/63 season, that his last campaign in a Preston shirt.

He joined Liverpool in the summer of 1963 for £40,000 and in his first season at Anfield, the Reds won the title.

They won it again in the 1965/66 season, while Thompson was in the Liverpool side which won the FA Cup for the first time in 1965.

Thompson was capped 16 times by England and made the initial squads for the 1966 and 1970 World Cups.

Legendary Reds manager Shankly said of Thompson: "His work rate was outstanding, his fitness unequalled, his balance like a ballet dancer.

"I have no hesitation in placing Peter up among the all-time greats – alongside such players as Tom Finney, Stanley Matthews and George Best.

"They say he didn’t score enough goals, they said his final pass wasn’t telling enough.

"Well, if he had scored goals as well as everything else he did, he would have been in the same category as Jesus Christ!"

However, he was cut from the final 22-man squad for both tournaments.

After 10 years with Liverpool, Thompson joined Bolton Wanderers in November 1973.

He helped Wanderers win promotion to the First Division before retiring from football in 1978.