David "Napper" Thomson

David Thomson, known as Napper, might, but for The Great War, have spent fully fourteen seasons at Dundee, his home-town club, three hundred and fifty appearances and a Cup Final in 1925, albeit lost. He might even have sent more but for an acrimonious end to his time at Dens. 

He had joined at age twenty-one from junior football with Fairfield and he effectively left in 1927, so aged thirty-five, with just a season away. It had, in any case, been at Dundee Hibernian as he worked to his other trade, mechanic cum engineer, in local shipyards through and The Blues briefly closed because of the conflict.

"Napper" Thomson was born in Dundee in 1892, the son of a Blacksmith from Ben Dochy, just north of Coupar Angus, and a local mother, who would die in 1906, he aged fourteen. As a player he was said to be versatile but he preferred full-back and it was there on the left that he was in winning a single cap in 1920 and in that Cup Final defeat to Celtic. He also remained injury-free, making thirty to forty starts a campaign, although in 1926-7 it did drop, but only a little to twenty-nine. Yet in that figure might be the seed of what happened during the following summer. For the 1927-8 season the club had made him, now thirty-five, an offer to stay. It cannot have been a pay-rise. He understandably refused it, wanted to play on elsewhere but then found a transfer fee being demanded and his registration retained, eventually for another three years. 

It was, given his service and age, spiteful. His response was to hang up his boots. He was in any case by then settled, married for the best part of a decade, his wife the former Isabella Louden, with whom he had two children. He also had a steady profession off the field, although he would turn to running a bar in the city until his death in 1955 and just past his sixty-third birthday. He would be cremated locally, outlived by Isabella by twenty-five years, she dying at the age of eighty-seven in 1880 still in the city. 

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