Last updated : 16 July 2012 By Tony Scholes

Date and Place of Birth

1st October 1946 - Glasgow


Transfers to and from Burnley

from Chelsea - October 1968 (£40,000)

released - May 1981


First and Last Burnley Games

Liverpool (h) - 5th October 1968


West Ham United (h) - 26th August 1980


Other Clubs




Burnley Career Stats


Season League FA Cup League Cup Others Total
  apps gls apps gls apps gls apps gls apps gls
1968/69 7(1) - 1 - 1 - - - 9(1) -
1969/70 13(1) - 3 - - - - - 16(1) -
1970/71 12 - - - 1 - 1 - 14 -
1971/72 14 1 1 - - - - - 15 1
1972/73 42 1 2 - 1 - 2 - 47 1
1973/74 31 - 5 - 3 - 5 - 44 -
1974/75 13(1) - 1 - - - - - 14(1) -
1975/76 40 - 1 - 5 - - - 46 -
1976/77 27 - 3 - 1 - 3 - 34 -
1977/78 31 - 2 - 1 - - - 34 -
1978/79 41 1 4 1 3 - 9 1 57 3
1979/80 20 - - - 2 - 2 - 24 -
1980/81 3 - - - 3 1 1 - 7 1
Total 294(3) 3 23 1 21 1 23 1 361(3) 6


Profile by Tony Scholes


When you sign for a new club, and you want to make an early impression, the last thing you want on your debut is to be played out of position against one of the best players in the country playing for one of the best teams in the country.

That's what happened to Jim Thomson when he made the move from Chelsea to Burnley in October 1968. He went straight into the first team but at right back rather than centre half and came up against top of the table Liverpool and their left winger Peter Thompson.

I don't think Jim would disagree, but he was given something of a difficult afternoon as the Liverpool winger had a stormer and we lost the game at Turf Moor 4-0. He was immediately dropped and we went on to win the next eight games. It was December before he got another start in the first team.

Thomson had signed from Chelsea in a £40,000 transfer after making 39 league appearances for the London club, scoring one goal. That goal had come in the 1966/67 season at the Turf when they beat Burnley 2-1.

He'd become unsettled at Stamford Bridge and was feeling homesick for his native Scotland. Despite not having a clue where Burnley was he jumped at the chance to sign because having moved north from London he was happy that it was nearer to Scotland, and he did so without even concerning himself with any wage negotiations.

Over the next three seasons he struggled to establish himself in the first team and never really got anything like an extended run in the first team. By the end of the 1970/71 season he was no nearer and the Clarets had dropped down into the second division.

Nothing changed for him initially but manager Jimmy Adamson turned to him with six games remaining at the end of the 1971/72 season as the fans turned on the manager. It proved to be the right move. He played the last six games and we won all six. At the start of the next season he was on the first team sheet alongside Colin Waldron.

The two of them forged a superb partnership. Both were ever presents as we won promotion with games still to go. Apart from one period during the 1974/75 season, when he lost his place to Billy Rodaway, he was first choice. When Waldron left the club in the summer of 1976 he formed a partnership with Rodaway.

Jim Thomson was well into his 30s when his place finally came under threat during a season which saw us drop into the third tier. A number of young central defenders had tried and failed to dislodge both he and Rodaway but with the emergence of Vince Overson his time was almost at an end.

He and Rodaway started the 1980/81 season but after three games both were left out. By then Thomson had played a total of 297 league games and over 360 games in total for Burnley but those three games were his last in league football.

He retired from the professional game at the end of that season and joined Morecambe for a short time, where he was player coach, before leaving the game altogether.

In the summer of 1986 he made a return to Burnley Football Club as the Commercial Manager, then the top job at the club. His stay was just over a year and it was during one of the most dramatic seasons in the club's history as we came close to losing our league status.

He fought manfully against the tide and right from the start he must have realised how difficult it was going to be. We had no kit deal and the team photograph had to be delayed until we were able to get some new shirts. Peter Noble came to his rescue.

One day he was in the office, doors locked, with the bailiffs banging on the door. Somehow Burnley FC survived and so did Jim Thomson with some amazing tales to tell of just how bad things had got at Turf Moor. After a year of that he returned to his work in the drinks industry.

He's a familiar figure again at Turf Moor at the time of writing. Alongside the likes of Willie Irvine and Andy Lochhead he's a match day host with the corporate guests. Yes, still at Burnley over forty years after he arrived because it was closer to Scotland.

He might well have had a difficult start at Burnley, and that year when he returned was a nightmare. But Jim Thomson proved to be a good signing and he was a major part of that fantastic side in the early part of the 1970s that won promotion and came close to adding major silverware in the next couple of years.