Alan Archibald’s association with Partick Thistle Football Club spans over 20 years and his impact on the club has been colossal.
As a player, he emerged through the youth ranks and was given his opportunity as a young defender because of financial difficulty suffered in the late 1990s. As he emerged as a capable young defender, he was part of the Partick Thistle squad which won consecutive promotions from the Second Division to the Scottish Premier League. During the 2002/03 season, Alan made his 200th Jags appearance, marking the landmark with a couple of excellent goals.
Alan left in the summer of 2003 but there was always a feeling that one of Thistle’s own would return to Firhill. So it proved in January 2007 when he returned to the club to help keep the side in the First Division.
His influence around the club was greater in his second spell with the club as he provided, at times, the sole experienced head in defence surrounded by younger compatriots. In total Alan made 423 appearances, which would have been more was it not for a couple of bad injuries, a tally which has him in the top 10 in Thistle’s history.
As Alan’s playing career began to wind down, he entered coaching taking the youth sides before in January 2013 he was plucked into the manager’s role, originally on an interim basis, following Jackie McNamara’s departure.
Alan guided the team well as they competed for promotion and the day before a crucial home game with Livingston, was appointed manager in his own right. The team responded with a scincillating 6-1 victory. Working with an almost unprecedented fixture backlog, Alan galvanised the team and on 20th April 2013, a 2-0 win over Falkirk secured Thistle’s return to the top flight.
If getting promotion was tough, staying in the Premiership was tougher but Alan showed how good a manager he was when, after a tough season, he secured survival with a game to spare. Since then the club has went from strength to strength and were denied a top six slot in 2015/16 by a single goal.