CAMMY Thomson, a former captain of Queen's Park Football Club, died suddenly in Birmingham yesterday morning at the age of 48 after a short illness.

He joined Queen's Park in 1971 from the successful Scottish amateur side, City Chambers AFC, and in his seven playing years at Hampden rose to captain the side and be one of the most successful Spiders of that period.

Cameron ``Cammy'' Thomson epitomised the archetypal Queen's Park player in that he was the perfect gentleman both on and off the park - which sometimes belied the fact that he was an extremely combative performer who was successful without having to take unfair advantage of an opponent.

He represented the club on almost 200 occasions and impressed not only his own colleagues but his opponents with the qualities which led him to become one of the top amateur football players of his day.

Queen's Park aficionados will remember Thomson's great contribution to the club. My own special memory, which perhaps speaks volumes for his all-round contribution, took place during a Scottish Cup tie at Hampden in December, 1973.

In the game there was consternation in the ranks when the then Queen's Park goalkeeper Ronnie Lowrie was sent off in the first half with the score still 0-0 following an incident with an opponent in the penalty area.

Lowrie left the field after divesting himself of his goalkeeper's jersey which was taken by the captain, Cammy Thomson, whose first task was to face the resultant penalty kick. Those who were among the sparse crowd that day will remember that Thomson dived to his right to finger-tip the well-taken penalty past the post, and thereafter performed various other heroics to prevent the opposition scoring. Queen's Park crept through to the next round by a narrow 1-0 margin.

Little did he realise that day that two rounds later the club would be drawn against Rangers at Ibrox and although the end result was 8-0 down, the fixture ensured that the Queen's Park treasurer was a much happier man that evening as the result of the weighty cheque for the club's share of the gate receipts.

Perhaps he should have retained the goalkeeping position at Ibrox rather than donning his normal No.5 shirt.

In addition to his prominent football interests, Thomson worked with the Royal Insurance Company and latterly held a senior position in their Liverpool office. He was, however, a regular attender at Hampden Park on any occasion that he visited Glasgow and his good company and ready wit will be missed by all who knew him both in football and business circles.

The well-known verse by Grantland Rice comes to mind: ``And when that one Great Scorer comes to write against your name/ He marks not that you won or lost,/ But how you played the game.''

These words could almost have been written for Cammy Thomson because he certainly ``played the game,'' and played it fairly and well.

All those who knew him will fondly remember a man who was the very epitome of a true Queen's Parker and who has well-earned his place in the club's Hall of Fame. His funeral will take place in Chester on Thursday.