John was born in Oldham into a tipically working class family, on leaving school he was expected to find employment. This he did and spent the next 40 plus years doing various types of work. He was essentially a self taught artist although for 5 years he attended evening classes in life drawing. At the age of 56, following yet another redundancy, he decided to become a full time artist. After a slow start he moved to the Alexandra Centre in Uppermill.
It was when he moved here that he started to be noticed and his work soon attracted a keen following. In his last few years he acheived great success and wide critical acclaim. He had several one man shows in and around Manchester and in 2002 three of his paintings were purchased for the House of Lords and now hang in the Committee Rooms.
In March 2006 a book on his life and work was published entitled - "John Thompson - Do you like em then?"