Jimmy Thompson hardly missed a game between making his Exeter City debut in December 1958 and leaving the club in March 1961. Having played over a hundred league games for Oldham Athletic, he made nearly 200 appearances for Rochdale in a 438-game Football League career.He was playing for his local club, Chadderton, when Oldham Athletic gave him a professional contract in January 1954. He went on to make 110 league appearances for the Latics, scoring 19 goals.
Exeter City paid a fee of £2,000 for Thompson in December 1958 and he made his debut for the Grecians in a 3-2 home win over Southport before missing just one game prior to joining Rochdale in March 1961 for £1,700 (plus 50 per cent of any future fee they received over that amount).
Thompson was a big success at Rochdale making 199 league outings for them, scoring 15 goals. His final league club were Bradford City, who he signed for in December 1965, adding a further 24 league games and one goal. He was appointed player-manager of Buxton for the 1966-67 season.
His son, Steve went on to play for Bolton Wanderers, Luton Town. Leicester City, Burnley, Rotherham United, Halifax Town and Leigh RMI.