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My Search for Celtic's John (Players); Johnny Thomson Memorabilia.
Topic Started: Sep 22 2017, 06:23 PM (446 Views)
tollcross

A Day at the Auction

Every now and again a wee gem (sometimes known as a sleeper) turns up at auction and today was that day, well to me anyway.

A few weeks ago David Convery who I consider the world authority on Football memorabilia told me about a collection relating to Johnny Thomson was coming up for sale at GWA in the near future.
Excited, I asked whats in it, his reply being a Scotland Medal and a lot of family related ephemera and photographs from his playing career and funeral, amongst other stuff. I couldn't wait to see it!

Meanwhile I told only the select few until I found out exactly what was in the sale, once I found out I immediately contacted the club and asked them to have a look with a view to buying for the up and coming Celtic Museum.

I attended the auction today and spoke to the Celtic rep who informed me which lot our club would be interested in buying, I also bumped into a collector who told me he was only interested in the medal, so that was 2 lots I was not going bid on. ( Both of them got what they wanted at what I considered a very good price, a fair bit lower than I would have bid).

That left me free to bid on the rest of the JT lots but I had my eyes on one lot in particular, or should I say one item in amongst a lot of items. I had half hearted bids on 7 of the lots but Lot 380 was the one I really wanted and when the hammer went down it was mine.

So what was in this lot that had made my heart miss a few beats and made me want it more than any other lot in the auction. It was a packet of cigarettes even though I chucked smoking more than 3 years ago.

Anybody who has read one of my favourite books "My Search for Celtic's John" by Tom Greig, might remember a chapter in it which Tom writes:
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It is appropriate at this point to dispel a popular misconception that still circulates relating to John Thomson. A story that has often been repeated linking John and Jim Thomson with a packet containing nineteen Players No 6 cigarettes which came into the family's possession after the footballers death. It has been claimed by some that on the fatal Saturday Jim drove his brother to the match and, at Johnny's request, stopped on the way to buy the packet, According to those close to him, and confirmed through the taped interview featuring Jim and Meg Thomson, Johnny Thomson, who did not drink alcohol, practically never smoked either. He would take an occasional cigarette in company or to calm his nerves before playing in competitive matches. The version of the Story I prefer is the one told to me by George and Mary-Ellen Cooper. a niece of Meg Dodds. After Johnny's death in the Victoria Infirmary, the outdoor clothes he wore to Ibrox were returned to his brother Jim. Jim found the packet of nineteen cigarettes in one of the pockets and, showing it very rarely to a select few, kept it safe and intact until his own death.

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tollcross

http://www.greatwesternauctions.com/catalogues/es220917/page006.html
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tollcross

The other lot that a won.

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tollcross

Although in the book, Tom Greig says it was No.6, research tells me the players No.6 brand was only introduced in 1965 and No.3 was the ones used in 1931.

A very interesting note in pen added and there is only 19 untipped cigarettes in the packet.

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Camillo

Was watching it and wondering what the story was. Well done TC. Pointed the JTMC in the direction of the results too.
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tollcross

tollcross
Sep 22 2017, 06:54 PM
The other lot that a won.

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Rather than reference to that fatal day in 1931 I think the poster might refer to a week in October 1927 when Celtic played rangers and Johnny was outstanding in both games :hmmm:

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Camillo

What was your thought on the other items marked JT? Did you think they belonged to Johnny or his brother?
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tollcross

Camillo
Sep 22 2017, 07:59 PM
What was your thought on the other items marked JT? Did you think they belonged to Johnny or his brother?
The book is the key to everything, in it Tom tells us Johnny was very generous and often gave gifts, infact he gave a girl friends brother a set of cufflinks so its not beyond reason he would have gave his own brother a set, and probably in gold.

The cigarette case had JF Thomson so not Johnny's plus he hardly merited a case if he only smoked one now n again. Imo the cufflinks, cigarette case and pocket watches with JT on them were either his brother James or his Father John's. None of them could have afforded to get the items engraved never mind buy them :thumbsup:
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tollcross

Camillo
Sep 22 2017, 07:32 PM
Was watching it and wondering what the story was. Well done TC. Pointed the JTMC in the direction of the results too.
Without TGs book there would be no story Camillo, we already knew Tom's research was phenomenal.

Before I bid today I really believed that the packet of fags was probably the most important piece of memorabilia in the entire collection, now I have had time to digest it and take in Johnny's brother Jims words
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After Johnny's death in the Victoria Infirmary, the outdoor clothes he wore to Ibrox were returned to his brother Jim. Jim found the packet of
nineteen cigarettes in one of the pockets and, showing it very rarely to a select few, kept it safe and intact until his own death.

I would say it certainly is :wink:
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