Dunfermline Athletic

Kenny Thomson

Born on November 9th, 1951, Kenny had all the credentials that would help him become a crowd favourite.A local lad, his grandfather, Jim, was a member of the Pars team that lifted the Qualifying Cup in 1912. Combining his natural athleticism with real footballing skill, he was a member of the outstanding Dunfermline United nursery side.

Kenny made his first team debut against Ayr United in August 1970 as an 18-year-old. He quickly established himself in the team and one of his most memorable matches was at Ibrox in April 1972. Not only did the Pars win 4-3 - their last success at that ground - but Kenny scored the second goal, a superb shot into the top corner. Despite this, the club was relegated although the emergence of several talented youngsters, Kenny included, saw them come straight back up.

A Scottish schoolboy long-jump champion, he also won the Professional Footballers Sprint competition twice in a row during the mid 1970s. This speed made Kenny indispensable, at either full-back or sweeper, where he excelled.His amazing pace, combined with an ability to read the game, provided Dunfermline with a fantastic last line of defence at a time when the team were struggling.

Helping the Pars to promotion in 1979, Kenny was voted Player of the Year, and as the club struggled to establish itself in the First Division at least he seemed assured of a place in the team. However, new manager Pat Stanton had other ideas and, arriving at the tail end of 1980, he was responsible for omitting Kenny after an amazing run of 227 consecutive appearances dating back five years to September 1976.

At the end of 1981/82 Kenny got an even nastier surprise when he was freed. In his twelve years at East End Park, Kenny made 354 league appearances and 432 in total including Cup games, and played under five managers. Only Norrie McCathie has worn a Pars jersey more often.

Only 30 years old, he seemed determined to prove Stanton wrong and signed for Alloa, where he spent five seasons and added a further 186 league appearances, and then St Johnstone. He helped both clubs to promotion, twice in his three years with the Saints, for whom he made 94 league appearances. He finished his playing career at Cowdenbeath in 1991, just short of his 40th birthday having accumulated 654 league appearances, which is among the highest ever for a Scottish League player.

He had a spell in coaching and was Assistant Manager of East Fife, but nowadays can be found on match days at East End Park, a leading member of the Former Players Association.

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