Friday 18th June 2004 


Liverpool have parted company with assistant manager Phil Thompson.

Thompson's exit comes following the appointment of Rafael Benitez as Liverpool's new manager after Gerard Houllier was sacked in May.

The 50-year-old became Houllier's right-hand man when the Frenchman took sole charge in November 1998. "Following talks between Rafael Benitez and Phil it has been decided that Phil will leave the club," chief executive Rick Parry told the club's website. Thompson has had three spells at Liverpool, having made 477 first-team appearances as a player and a stint as reserve team manager. Parry added: "All the discussions were conducted in a totally amicable manner and Phil leaves with our very best wishes for the future.

"I want to thank Phil for all his hard work over the past six years as he played a major part in the successes we enjoyed during that period. "We will obviously be sitting down now with Rafa to discuss his backroom team and will make further announcements in due course." Thompson's departure concludes his second stint as a coach at Anfield. After leaving the club as a player after the European Cup success of 1984 he returned as reserve team boss two years later. He enjoyed notable success in that role but was sacked by then manager Graeme Souness in 1992.

Houllier brought him in to help motivate his team after taking sole charge of the club from Roy Evans in 1998