Warren Feeney believes Peter Thompson can sit proudly in the pantheon of Linfield Football Club’s legendary strikers.
Thompson – affectionately known as ‘Pistol Pete’ – will play his last game for the Blues on Saturday after it was confirmed he has not been offered a new contract.
The 30-year-old’s final appearance at Shamrock Park will bring the curtain down on a stellar 13-year association with Linfield.
Thompson scored 230 goals – including 15 hat-tricks – in 417 games for the Blues during two spells with the club – sandwiched in between was an 18-month stint at Stockport County from July 2008 to January 2010.
The former Northern Ireland international – who won eight caps – claimed 17 winners’ medals during his time at Windsor, including six league titles and six Irish Cups.
There was also the all-Ireland Setanta Sports Cup in 2005, and the famous ‘Clean Sweep’ the next season when Linfield won every domestic honour going – aided by 48 goals in 58 appearances from hit-man Thompson.
“Peter has sealed his place among the greats of Linfield Football Club – no doubt about it,” Feeney said.
“In years to come, our supporters will talk of Bambrick, Milburn, McGaughey, Dickson, Pavis, Ferguson and Thompson. This club loves goalscoring forwards and what Peter achieved here has been truly phenomenal.
“He’s done it all – scored in a winning Setanta Cup final 10 years ago next month, scored in winning Irish Cup finals and won league winners’ medals and played 26 times in Europe. He never played in a losing Irish Cup tie.
“He always will be a legend because of the goal-scoring exploits in that outstanding Clean Sweep season of 2005/06 and his release today means another one of the last remaining players from that golden era will have moved on.
“As a forward myself, I can truly appreciate and salute Peter’s record of 230 goals in 417 games for a club that I know he absolutely loves. He forged a wonderful partnership and understanding with Glenn Ferguson and he made an outstanding contribution to the 6 Doubles in 7 seasons which will go down in the folklore of this great club and institution.”
Explaining Thompson’s release, Feeney added: “It was felt that with the club having to make best use of our available financial resources, the club would not be offering Peter a new contract at this time.
“I met with Peter today and I explained our reasons why a new contract wasn’t being offered at this point.
“Hopefully fans will turn out at Shamrock Park on Saturday to bid a fond farewell to a true legend of the club.”
Linfield Vice-Chairman Billy Kennedy added: “Peter has had an illustrious career at Windsor Park and we all salute his achievements at the club.
“We thank Peter for the sterling contribution he has made towards the good of Linfield and wish him every success in his future role in the game.”