COLIN Thompson was a man who devoted his life to Glenavon FC.
The Broomhedge man who passed away on September 25 had been a fan of the Lurgan Blues since the age of six and went on to become a steward at the club.
Colin was born on New Year’s Eve 1946 in Lisburn. He was the first son of Florence and William who went on to have two more children - Maureen and Dennis.
After attending Broomhedge Primary School and subsequently Lisnagarvey Intermediate School, Colin served his time at Mackies as a fitter. However Colin was destined to find his dream job as a lorry driver, driving for several firms including W T Waite, the former Creamline and Currys Steele.
On June 29, 1990 Colin married Norma Lennon. He had known her since her teenage years and often joked with her that he had waited 25 years to get her.
When Norma was widowed, such was the gentlemanly nature of Colin, that he waited out of respect before the two became an item.
After getting married they settled in Castlevue Park in Moira. 15 years ago they moved to their current home at Woodhall in the village.
Norma said: “Colin loved his job as a lorry driver. He had a great knowledge of the roads and was a great man for shortcuts.”
After having a heart attack in 1999, Colin had to give up lorry driving. However after a break, he did go back to driving a small van for Moyallen Meats on a part-time basis. His work there took him all over the country and it was from Moyallen Meats that he retired.
Colin was not one for sitting around and was delighted to find a role as part-time school patrol man at Moira Primary School.
He was also a keen gardener and a devoted dog walker. He loved walking his beloved Collie Sal in Moira Demesne and you could have set your watch by his morning and evening walks.
He remained a Broomhedge man through and through. He was a member of Broomhedge Pipe Band for many years and a member of LOL No.799 Broomhedge where he was a past master.
Colin was best known for his role as a Glenavon steward, a position he’d held with great pride for the past 15 years.
Norma said: “Glenavon was the love of his life.”
Fellow steward Raymie Flanagan said: “Colin had a great love for Glenavon. No matter what he was asked to do it was never any bother.
“He was a fully trained steward right up to the top level. What the people liked about him was his knowledge of football. He knew all the players who came and went about Glenavon.”
Raymie added that Colin had a role in bringing at least three players to the Lurgan Blues including Adam McMinn, Neal Gawley and Robbie Beck.
Colin was fortunate to meet a number of his footballing heroes, most notably George Best. He also forged a great friendship with Bobby Williamson, who had been manager of Kilmarnock when Glenavon played them in the UEFA Cup.
The last Glenavon match Colin attended was the home game against Linfield on September 22. He’d told his friend Raymie that he’d wait and see how his hospital visit went on Tuesday before deciding on whether to make the trip to Ballinamallard on Friday night.
Unfortunately Colin’s visit to the City Hospital to have a stent fitted ended in tragedy with complications during the operation leading to his death.
Norma said: “The doctor said Colin was unconscious so he wouldn’t have suffered. At least when Colin left the house on Tuesday morning he was in good spirits. He told Sal he would see her later and he wasn’t going out of the house with any worries on his mind.”
Norma, who has two children and five grandchildren from her previous marriage, said: “Colin was extremely proud of the achievements of his two step children. Colin and I would travel regularly to Scotland and England to see them.”
She added: “He wasn’t just my husband, he was my best friend. He’ll be dearly missed.”
A minute’s silence was held at the Glenavon vs Coleraine match on October 6 in memory of Colin and the players wore black armbands.
His funeral, which was extremely well attended, was held in Moira Parish Church and led by Rev Joanne Megarrel. Colin was buried in Broomhedge Parish Churchyard.