Former Rangers & Scotland goalkeeper Billy Thomson dies aged 64 as tributes pour in for St Mirren & Dundee United icon

RIP BILLY LEGENDARY former Dundee United, St Mirren and Rangers goalkeeper Billy Thomson has passed away at the age of 64.

The sad news has been confirmed by his former clubs this morning.

Former Scotland keeper Billy Thomson has died aged 64
Thomson is a Dundee United legend

Thomson had a two-year spell at Rangers in the mid-1990s
Thomson’s top-level career spanned more than two decades and he was one of the Scottish game’s top goalkeepers.

He made his first team breakthrough at Partick Thistle in the late 1970s and was back-up to Scotland star Alan Rough.

St Mirren paid £50,000 to sign him in 1978, a big fee for a 20-year old ‘keeper back at the time.

It proved to be an inspired acquisition as Thomson went on to become a club legend for the Buddies.

Undisputed first-choice keeper, he made over 200 league appearances as a St Mirren player.

Thomson moved on from Paisley in 1984, joining Jim McLean’s iconic Dundee United side.

He battled with Terrors icon Hamish McAlpine to be first choice, eventually establishing himself as No.

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Going on to make more than 230 appearances for United, Thomson was part of the legendary side that reached the 1987 UEFA Cup Final, beating the likes of Barcelona along the way.
Thomson famously suffered an injury just behind his ear five minutes into the first leg against IFK Gothenburg, requiring stitches.

He continued on, and McLean praised him for his remarkable performance.

He also played in two Scottish Cup finals for United.

After leaving Tannadice in 1991, Thomson spent three years at Motherwell.

Aged 36, he then moved on to Rangers 1994 where he spent two years as understudy to Andy Goram.

Thomson made seven Premier Division appearances for the Light Blues.

He finished his career back in the city of discovery, this time for Dundee, playing 25 times in the 1996/97 season.

Thomson also won seven caps for Scotland, with all of his appearances coming during his time at St Mirren.

After retiring from playing, he went to become one of Scottish football’s top goalkeeping coaches.

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He was on the staff at Dundee, before returning to Rangers in May 2001.

Thomson is credited with a key role in the development of Allan McGregor at the Ibrox club.

Still Gers No.1, Thomson oversaw the goalkeeping department as McGregor made his way from young first team hopeful to undisputed first-choice at his boyhood club.

Thomson remained at Ibrox until the summer of 2007, and worked at both Kilmarnock and Stranraer afterwards.

Thomson has been inducted into both St Mirren and Dundee United’s Halls of Fame – he was honoured by the Buddies just last year.

After confirming the sad news of Thomson’s passing, the Paisley club remarked that he’d taken his “rightful place” among their great with his induction.

Thomson went on to be Rangers goalkeeping coach for several years

More recently, Thomson worked at Kilmarnock
Dundee United also extended their condolences to Thomson’s family, while Dundee also offered their thoughts.

Condolences were also passed on by Rangers while Motherwell said they were deeply saddened by the news.

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As the news broke, fans took to social media to remember Thomson.

One posted: “Not only a brilliant goalkeeper, Billy was a lovely guy. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this sad time.”

A Rangers fan added: “A great pro that also did wonders in helping develop Allan McGregor. Gone too soon.”

Reminiscing, a Partick Thistle fan said: “For a few years in the 70s, Bertie Auld’s Jags were in the highly luxurious position of having two international class ‘keepers on the books; Billy was simply too good to stay
A St Mirren supporter also paid tribute, posting: “So sad to hear, yet another of my childhood heroes from when he played at St. Mirren. Had the good fortune to meet Billy Thomson at my pal’s birthday party, around 40 years ago. Was such a nice guy.”

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