Tommy Taylor: Club Photographer

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Tommy Taylor

When an accident had put an early end to my sports career I was at a bit of a loss with all the free time I now had until some well meaning person gave me a camera to pass away my time.

When I appeared to enjoy the new hobby another well meaning person then talked me into buying his new fancy camera and lenses for a fortune (a step up, a bargain, he still tells me) so he could buy a new bicycle and go to some race in France. Deal done.

This was then followed by one of my other then friends who played with Kilmarnock, suggested that I go to a Killie game and take pictures of him in action. This was to be the start of my official Thistle association as I waited until they were due to play us until I took him up on his offer.

So on the 29th April 1989 I boarded a train to Kilmarnock with my friend who had played every minute of every game that season. He came out the dressing room that day and told me I was a jinx and was I never coming back - He had just been dropped for the first (and only time that season). So I was now free to cover the Thistle attack that day. It set the tone for my future - a nil-nil draw!

A few days later I took the pictures to show some friends at a Thistle quiz night where the then Programme editor Niall Kennedy asked if he could use them. So a friendship was born (and endures - although I think Niall and his successors, Michael Max and now Tom Hosie would use the word endure in a different context - to this day).

I was born in April 1961 and brought up in Leyden Gardens not far from Firhill and although my dad was a Rangers fan I was usually taken to Firhill by my Granddad or babysitter, Alan on a Saturday apparently without my dad's knowledge. I attended Shakespeare primary in Maryhill before the family moved to Linwood in the early seventies.

As a youngster, being an aspiring keeper, my favourite player was Alan Rough but Alan Hansen and the Amazing McQuade followed later by Kenny Watson were my others.

As I have said in my previous biog on here my time at the club has been eventful with the club having been up and down the leagues and the emotions like a championship Yo-yo.

The Lambie years were usually the most fun because that's the way of things when you are winning. His first stint still being my favourite time at the club. The characters he and Gerry had around the place meant it was never dull.

There have been some brilliant people especially players during my time, Gordon Rae, Paul McGovern, Jim Duffy, Ian Cameron, Andy Murdoch, David Irons, Davie Elliot, Andy Lyons, Charlie Adams, Gerry Britton, Derek Fleming, Nicky Walker, Gordon Chisholm, Scott Patterson, Grant Murray, the man they call Chico and the now departed wonky footed goalie. (I could go on and on) have made life a lot more bearable around the place.

For anyone thinking of following this route to fame and no fortune please remember that for every sunny championship or promotion day there are usually a hundred freezing, rain soaked, hail hammered, snow driven dark nights in darkest Scotland to overcome first. But okay, I probably still wouldn't swap it for shopping on a Saturday.

When not at Firhill I am usually found (occasionally my colleagues tell me) working in an office in the Southside. For recreation I find pleasure in moaning at Mr Hughes for missing sitters at 5's, moaning at a Mr Bannerman's bad patter anywhere, moaning about Laptops which don't appear to like me very much and generally moaning about things not being as good as they used to be. To this end I am very happy that my friend and nemesis Mr McCall is now our manager.

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