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Page last updated at 16:26 GMT, Wednesday, 15 October 2008 17:26 UK

Dundee Utd chairman Thompson dies

Former Dundee United chairman Eddie Thompson
Thompson had been battling illness for some time

Dundee United chairman Eddie Thompson has died following a long battle with prostate cancer.

The 67-year-old Glasgow-born businessman, who made his money through convenience stores, became the majority shareholder at the club in 2002.

Over the course of six years, he turned a 2.7m loss into an operating profit and set up a fans' trust that became United's second-largest stakeholder.

His death comes only days after that of his son-in-law in a motorbike accident.

Despite his illness, Thompson continued attending games home and away for as long as possible, and as it became clear his health was worsening, he took steps to ensure the club's long-term future, with his son Stephen taking over as chief executive.

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"Everyone at Dundee United is devastated by the loss of someone who was not only our chairman but also a very close and inspirational friend," said a statement on the club website.

Thompson was quoted as saying: "You can change your wife, your house, your car but you can never change your team. Chairmen come and go, boards come and go but the fans remain. They are the one true constant. I've just been a custodian of the club."

The Scottish Premier League has postponed United's league match against Rangers on Saturday as a mark of respect.

Dundee United manager Craig Levein said he had become close friends with Thompson since taking over as manager at Tannadice in 2006, but would have liked more time with the charismatic chairman.

"We have lost someone I'd call a decent guy and, as close as we've become, he is someone I wish I could have known a lot longer," said Levein.

"As a chairman he could not have backed me any more than he did, but it is as a good man that I think of him.

"Over the next few days a lot will be said about him and what he achieved, but I really will remember him as a decent guy."

Earlier this year, at the suggestion of United fans, one of the stands at Tannadice was named in his honour and thousands of United fans wore One Eddie Thompson T-shirts at the CIS Cup final against Rangers in March.

Scottish FA chief executive Gordon Smith said he was "extremely saddened" to hear the news.

"Our thoughts are with his family, his friends and everyone at the club at this terribly sad time," said Smith.

"Eddie was a man who loved the game and was passionate about bringing success to the club he loved.

"You need only look at the way the fans reacted at the CIS Cup final earlier this year to see how much Dundee United meant to Eddie and how much Eddie meant to the club.

"He will be sorely missed."

Thompson is survived by his wife Cath, children Justine and Stephen and four grandchildren.




see also
United's Ibrox fixture postponed
15 Oct 08 |  Dundee Utd
In quotes: Eddie Thompson reaction
15 Oct 08 |  Scotland
Tribute to husband of soccer boss
13 Oct 08 |  Edinburgh, East and Fife
Thompson gets Tannadice tribute
21 Mar 08 |  Dundee Utd
Thompson dreaming of cup success
14 Mar 08 |  Dundee Utd
Eddie Thompson's time at Tannadice
15 Oct 08 |  Scotland
Levein dedicates win to chairman
05 Feb 08 |  Dundee Utd


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