Q&A: St Mirren's Steven Thompson on career highs and lows

By Jonathan SutherlandBBC Scotland
St Mirren forward Steven Thompson
Steven Thompson is retiring from playing

St Mirren striker Steven Thompson will retire from playing after Sunday's match with former club Rangers.

The regular Sportscene pundit and former Scotland forward has enjoyed spells with various clubs including Dundee United, Cardiff City, Burnley and his boyhood heroes, the Buddies.

As he prepares to hang up the boots, he talked through his career highs and lows.

Favourite goal?

"My best goal would probably be against Reading in the English Championship play-off semi-final at the Madejski Stadium, where I had a dipping volley off the underside of the bar to put us to Wembley to the final.

"[But] favourite would have to go to the St Mirren League Cup final goal [against Hearts in 2013]. It's very close. The other one was to secure our place at Wembley, and it was a better goal. Those are my two."

Best moment?

"It's hard for me to pick one. First Scotland cap, winning the title with Rangers, winning the Cup with St Mirren, winning the play-off final at Wembley to be promoted to the Premier League [with Burnley].

"I shall go with scoring in the League Cup final for St Mirren, because it was the least expected achievement of my career and because of the ties I have with St Mirren."

Worst moment?

"Losing the FA Cup final [with Cardiff in 2008] was pretty grim, getting relegated with St Mirren [in 2015], injuries.

"[I will go with] the FA Cup final. I was subbed on for Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink to go and rescue the day, which I didn't manage to do. We were 1-0 down. But to lose the FA Cup final - you ask any player in the world, 'what game would you like to play in?' I think an FA Cup final in England would be pretty high on the list."

Sol Campbell and Steven Thompson
Thompson (right) and Cardiff lost the FA Cup final to a Sol Campbell-captained Portsmouth

Funniest moment?

"We were playing a pre-season friendly for Burnley against Portland Timbers in America. In their stadium beside the pitch was a bar, with people sitting on barstools having pints only two metres off the pitch.

"I had one of those moments when you go over the touchline and you have to jump over the advertising boards, because you're running so fast and can't stop. So I jumped over the advertising board and landed virtually on this guy's table, who was sitting drinking a pint. I took the pint off him and necked the whole pint, put it down and jumped back on the pitch!

"I am probably the only player in history to have downed a pint during a match. [Then Burnley manager] Owen Coyle saw the funny side, thankfully. I gave the guy [I took the pint from] my boots afterwards."

Steven Thompson
Thompson is looking forward to continuing his media career

What will you miss most about football?

"Match day - the anticipation and the anxiety of a match."

What will you miss least?

"The stress."

Most important thing you have learned?

"Try and enjoy it as much as you can but never get too high when things are going well and don't get too low when they're not - and make sure you have a lot of fun."

What's next?

"Hopefully a smooth transition into media and punditry, and build a career in the media. I do enjoy it. I feel it's a natural progression for me, and hopefully it all works out."

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