Photo of Kelly Thomson (right) from Facebook.

Former Knights player, Nationals coach passes away

A member of the 2005 Memorial Cup winning London Knights team has died.

Kelly Thomson, who played for the Knights in 2005 when they won the Canadian Hockey League title, died over the weekend. Thomson was 34. The London native also coached the London Nationals to the Sutherland Cup championship in 2013.

“This is a very sad day for our organization,” Knights vice-president and general manager Mark Hunter said in a statement issued Monday. “Kelly was an incredibly passionate and hard-working player for the Knights during his time in London. His work ethic and enthusiasm was key to our success during his tenure with the Knights. He will always be a member of our organization, and we have lost a close family member.”

The Nationals, who will play Waterloo on Thursday in Game 1 of the Sutherland Cup finals, announced Thomson’s passing on social media on Monday.

After finishing his OHL career with the Oshawa Generals in the 2005-2006 season, Thomson played 34 games with the Muskegon Fury of the United Hockey League before playing one season with the Wilfred Laurier University Golden Hawks. Upon retiring as a player, Thomson joined the coaching staff of the Nationals. He spent five years with the team, the last four as head coach.

A cause of death has not been released and funeral arrangements have not yet been announced.