Club History

This great Glasgow institution first saw the light of day in 1876 in Partick, hence the name.

Over the next 33 years Thistle operated from various homes, among them Kelvingrove, Jordanvale, Muirpark, Inchview and Meadowside, before moving to Firhill in 1909.

Rather than attempt to cover those nomadic years here, why not go to Niall Kennedy's excellent Partick Thistle: The Early Years.

Our first match at our spiritual home came on 18th September 1909: Partick Thistle 3 v 1 Dumbarton Harp

History tells us that the 1 came before the 3! What a shame that the first ever goal scored on Firhill was by the visiting team!

It's an even greater shame that quite a number of the goals scored since then have been by visiting teams as well!

On the playing front Thistle's two greatest achievements have been winning the Scottish Cup in 1921 and the Scottish League Cup in 1971, in both cases against all the odds, but then that's typical of Thistle. When did they ever do what was expected of them?

The 1921 heroes, who defeated Rangers 1-0 in the Scottish Cup Final at Parkhead on 16th April 1921 were as follows:

Campbell, Crichton, Bulloch, Harris, Wilson, Borthwick, Blair, Kinloch, Johnstone, McMenemy, Salisbury. Johnny Blair scored the only goal of the game.

On 23rd October 1971, Thistle created nothing short of a major sensation in the football world when in the League Cup Final they demolished the all-conquering Celtic team of that period by four goals to one.

Having led by an incredible 4-0 at half time! The names run ever so easily off every Thistle tongue:

Rough, Hansen, Forsyth, Glavin, Campbell, Strachan, McQuade, Coulston, Bone, Rae, Lawrie. Substitute: Gibson.

Alex Rae, Bobby Lawrie, Denis McQuade and Jimmy Bone all found the Celtic net, much to the delight of all Thistle fans (and a good few others as well!)

From 1921 to 1971 is obviously a very long time, two generations to be exact. Patience is an essential part of the Thistle fans' make-up, but in between those dates the team wasn't totally unsuccessful by any means, as three League Cup Final defeats, one Summer Cup success and the winning of sundry Glasgow and Glasgow Charity Cups will testify, and later the restyled First Division Championship in 1976.

Thistle for Europe! Why not?

We have been there on competitive business three times. Qualification for the Fairs Cup in 1963 was secured by finishing in 3rd place in the old Scottish First Division in season 1962-63.

Glentoran were dismissed with consummate ease 7-1 on aggregate but Thistle lost 4-0 to Spartak Brno Czechoslovakia, having won by only 3-2 at Firhill.

The next crack at Europe came via the UEFA Cup in 1972, by virtue of the League Cup success the previous year. The crack Hungarian team Honved of Budapest proved to be too difficult a hurdle and Thistle went out 4-0 over the two legs.

More recently, Thistle became the first Scottish club to compete in the Intertoto Cup.

While we didn't make it beyond the group stages, matches in Austria and France, with home ties against Icelandic and Croatian opposition, were great experiences.

The hundreds who travelled to Metz, in particular, will never forget the march to the ground and the sea of red and yellow that welcomed the team to the pitch.

What kind of people support Thistle, The Jags, the Maryhill Magyars, and the Harry Wraggs?

Well, there aren't millions of them, and that suggests being a Thistle fan is to say the least difficult and beyond the capabilities of the average person.

Not everyone wants to be teased mercilessly in the workplace or at school by those who take the easy way out and latch themselves on to those clubs which, for all sorts of reasons, win more than Thistle do.

Not everyone can easily get over seeing his favour ite players transferred to other clubs.

Over the years, the comedians have had a field day at Thistle's expense with all those tired jokes about the Thistle supporters holding their meetings in a telephone box. Jags fans may be thin on the ground but they are resilient, durable, even if by nature a little masochistic.

There's a well-known Glasgow football team:

They don't play in blue; they don't play in green.

These few words describe the Partick Thistle position perhaps as adequately as any others could possibly do.

With the benefit of hindsight, one would have to say that it was an inspired move which in the middle 1930's saw Thistle discard the dark blue colours in favour of the distinctive red and yellow!

Of course we are only scraping the surface of the long history of our club here.

For the definitive story (at least up until 2002) go to the on-line shop and order your copy of:

Partick Thistle Football Club
1876-2002
The Official History

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