Brian ‘ Checkie’ Thompson (1938 – 2011)
BRIAN ‘Checkie’ Thompson was the son the Great Gonerby village butcher.
He was a pupil at the King’s School, where he enjoyed all sports and played cricket for the school after which he worked as a technical draughtsman for Aveling-Barford.
With his wife, Barbara, he promoted dances and events in Grantham, Lincolnshire and the Nottingham area in the sixties, often at the Drill Hall, at a time when few understood the business, and then later into the 1970s and 1980s.
Such artists as the Walker Brothers, Gene Vincent, Wayne Fontana and Dave Berry were regular entertainment at the local Saturday dance events.
Perhaps his biggest local event was Barbecue 67, at Spalding in July 1967, which included a line-up of Jimi Hendrix, Cream, Geno Washington, Pink Floyd and The Move.
So many turned up that national radio advised people to stay away as they would not get in.
He played goalkeeper for Brush Sports, Kettering, Peterborough Utd Res, Wisbech Town and Lockheed Leamington before joining Grantham Town. He over the role from Graham Clarke for the January 1965 match at Scarborough.
His final appearance for Grantham came in March 1966 at home to Alfreton Town and despite being offered a contract by Stamford decided to retire.
During his time at Barford’s he was a bowler for the works team and later for Grantham and several nearby village teams.
He was a gregarious character, who provided great enjoyment to all who knew him or saw him play.
Later he became a market trader and with partner Steven Munns visited Grantham and surrounding markets, where they would always enjoy the banter with the local public.
He and Barbara went on to create a successful fashion business in the Nottingham area.
He maintained his sporting prowess by playing cricket for Wollaton Cricket Club as a very able bowler and batsman, and he continued to play cricket into his 50s, when he played for Nottingham Forest Cricket Club’s first XI.
He took up golf in his 40s and soon made his mark in that field too.
He was invited to join the Variety Club of GB, mingling with the stars of the time.