Peter Thomson RIP

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TOOFIF’s Allan Gould pays tribute to the Headmaster




The Headmaster (right) chats to Ken Coton prior to the Villa game back in November.


TOOFIF lost a dear friend this week when Peter Thomson passed away after a short illness. Peter, author of the 'Following the Fulham' series of books, was a regular contributor to the fanzine and his articles demonstrated his eccentricities just as much as his deep affection for our favourite football club.

While he was evidently fervent about matters on the pitch, Peter was just as concerned about the off-pitch stuff too. Our return to a revamped Craven Cottage following our exile at Loftus Road was an especially sweet moment. Of course, our passage to the Europa league final was enjoyed by all - but none more than Peter who travelled all around Europe and who subsequently captured the mood in "Following The Fulham On A European Tour".

Although Peter clearly enjoyed watching the much-improved fortunes of his beloved football club, he was equally keen to share that enjoyment and to see others revelling in the club's success. He was a big people man - hardly surprising really, as he'd devoted the bulk of his life to teaching.

Peter became Headmaster of Emanuel School, Battersea Rise, from 1984 to 1994. Latterly, he was Principal of the Harrodian School, Barnes (built on the site of a former FFC Training Ground in Lonsdale Road!). He was loved and respected by all - and will be much missed.

Having got the all-clear from Peter's widow, Sheila, Allan Gould posted the following on FFC message boards on the morning of his demise:

It is with great sadness that I report the passing of Peter Thomson, Author of "Following the Fulham" books, this morning at around 8am. Peter had been unwell for a few months and lost his battle this morning.

Peter was a neighbour and great friend of many years. We have a great picture of Peter and his wife Sheila, David and Heather Lloyd and my wife and I taken 12 months ago today outside the front of our bedecked house prior to the Hamburg final. Peter was like an excited schoolboy that evening leading us in a chorus of "Roy, Roy, Roy" in the street.

I last spoke to Peter on the morning of the Bolton home match from his hospital bed when he told me of a cunning plan to get to the match that evening. He was arranging transport from Hammersmith Hospital to Finlay Street where he would be taken by wheelchair to the disabled area at the Hammersmith end of the Riverside stand. George, our son an ex-pupil of his, was to keep an eye on him and he would have transport arranged to get him back to the hospital. I was under strict instructions NOT to tell Sheila about this. Sadly, the plan didn't come off.

He was the Principal at the Harrodian School in Barnes and former Head of Emmanuel in Battersea Rise. Peter was at home with Sultans and serfs alike and treated everybody equally.

A Fulham man through and through, a scholar and a Gentleman.

We will sorely miss you.

 
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Following the Fulham


Peter supported Fulham since 1951 and had in recent years gathered his thoughts in a series of books under the ‘Following the Fulham’ banner. In doing so, he recounted stories as diverse as anything Homer managed in his irreverent style, and a smattering of references to the Classics feature heavily in his unique tomes.


Known as the Headmaster (hardly a surprise given his lifetime devoted to the lead role in some of the loftier academic establishments), Peter did not strike one as a typical football supporter. He is somewhat, er, how should one put this, posh. His resonant tones suggest an upbringing more akin to ancient panelled halls and dreaming spires than afternoons spent bellowing insults at match officials from the terraces of windy, rainswept northern football grounds.


There’s no doubt, Peter was an engaging, entertaining companion and this can be gleaned by reading his mixture of whimsy and dedication to all things family and Fulham in his excellent Following the Fulham books which are also published by Ashwater Press. Essential for those who can see beyond the conformist world of football-support.


Hope these ‘lines’ sufficed; now can I please leave detention, Sir...?



STOP PRESS (or should that be Web-Update?)


Peter’s new title in the Following the Fulham Series is fresh from the press and available now from Ashwater Press. This is another witty and very Fulhamish account of Peter’s European Tour of 2009-2010 following FFC in the Europa League. Naturally, this being Peter’s story, the Europa League is just the under-pinning device and so much more is to be enjoyed from his pages even if you flunked Latin at your prep school.


Well worth a place among your Fulham Book Collection.










 


Peter Thomson in his working apparel (mortar board 'at rest' on this occasion), and no doubt contemplating Fulham’s next match...






The Following the Fulham series – entertaining and highly educational accounts of supporting the oldest club in London...





 
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