For many years George Thomson’s career mirrored that of his compatriot, Alex Young. The stylish left back had emerged through Heart of Midlothian’s part time ranks in the mid-1950s, when he was an apprentice plasterer and Young an engineer. The two had subsequently turned professional and won Scottish League Championship medals in 1958 and 1960. In November 1960, Thomson joined Everton as part of the deal that made Young an Everton player; Thomson was valued at £15,000.
The full back slotted in immediately to Johnny Carey’s rapidly evolving team, taking the place of T. E. Jones, who had reverted to left back following the emergence of Brian Labone. A polished and composed player, Thomson’s arrival effectively spelt the death knell of the former captain’s first team career.
And yet for all the composure he brought to the Everton defence, Thomson struggled with the rapid pace of First Division football. Brian Harris provided sound cover from the wing half position, but when he pushed forward Thomson was left terribly exposed. First choice left back for two years, Harry Catterick eventually preferred Mick Meagan and dropped Thomson midway through the 1962/63. He played enough games to claim a League Championship medal that season, but was sold to Brentford the following November.
With his dark good looks, it seemed inevitable that Thomson should be compared to his fellow Scot, Sean Connery, who was making a name for himself as James Bond in Ian Fleming’s Dr No. To the unending amusement of his team mates, he would announce his arrival: ‘The name is Thomson, George Thomson.’ He was, recalled Alex Young, something of a ‘suave rascal’, but a sad character too, who often appeared lonely. Young would recall in his memoirs that in retirement Thomson struggled with life after football becoming something of a drifter, who would turn up unexpectedly, looking for hand outs. Alas, he fell foul of the law, and died while serving a custodial sentence in Preston Prison for murder.