Saltcoats, Ayrshire born outside right Benny Thomson began his football career in junior football with Kilwinning Rangers in 1930 from where he signed for local First Division club Kilmarnock in 1934, making his Scottish League debut in a 0-0 draw with Airdrie at Rugby Park in January 1935. “He is extremely tricky in all his moves… he has a good sense of position and has scored a number of goals in minor football” it was said of him at the time.
Thomson first showed himself as a goalscorer in 1935-36, when he scored 11 goals during Killie’s campaign, a feat he repeated during 1936-37. His most successful goalscoring campaign came the following season, when he scored 20 goals for Kilmarnock, including a brace on five occasions. Thomson scored twice in Kilmarnock’s 4-3 victory over Rangers in the 1938 Scottish Cup semi final at Hampden Park in April 1938, and played in the Scottish Cup Final later that month against East Fife. The first match finished a 1-1 draw and Thomson scored a penalty in the replay to level Danny McKerrell’s opener for The Fifers, however Kilmarnock went on to lose 4-2 after extra time, East Fife’s only Scottish Cup triumph.
Thomson had made 160 appearances, scoring 51 goals for Killie up to the outbreak of the Second World War in September 1939, but he didn’t survive the War. Thomson served as a fireman and trimmer in the Merchant Navy and was posted aboard the steamer SS Balmore. Aged 27, he was killed in action when the ship was sunk by German aircraft in the North Atlantic Ocean at position 52°N 17°W on 12th November 1940. Thomson is commemorated on the Tower Hill Memorial.