Unsung heroes: J&N Singer-Songwriter Society, Financial Fair Play ambassador Philip Arthur Thompson

I’ve learnt a lot during the four years we’ve been together, not least the reality that the only safe place to be is in the office of football-mad Leicester City’s Financial Fair Play ambassador, lawyer Philip Arthur Thompson. Over the years, I’ve had the fortune to know several footballers and I can confirm that some of them are a lot funnier than you might think.

Last week I met Philip for the first time in more than a year. The club was in this month’s edition of the readers’ football hot-list in which we had the outspoken midfielder – and former Three Lions – Gary Neville voting for himself at No 1. Thompson is now the subject of my survey for Money Mail as the No 2 favourite pundit. We’ve been friends since we met three years ago, so I enjoyed an initial reunion with my quarry before reviewing this month’s full list of who’s who in the world of the high street.

After a flurry of mentions in the media, I thought it a timely moment to ring Thompson, who does the opposite of a knee-jerk reaction but has always remained loyal to my findings. Instead of playing spoiler, he pointed out how the list would not be complete without Yorkshireman Peter Kay and gave us a perfect start with his fictional persona Alan Partridge appearing in the No 1 spot. It was almost as if he found all our close calls convincing. At least the fans didn’t vote for him.

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