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Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle FC

Heart of Midlothian 0 Partick Thistle 1


At this particular time Hearts and Thistle were both languishing in the second tier of Scottish football. The fortunes of the two clubs would, however, follow very different paths in the months ahead. Hearts finished the season in 2nd place behind St Johnstone and were therefore promoted back up to the top flight. Thistle took 4th place and followed that with a 3rd top finish the following season. After two near misses, we endured seven wretched years wallowing about in the middle, and sometimes even lower areas of the First Division, when promotion wasn’t even a realistic prospect. Thank goodness for Kenny Watson, the one bright light at the end of a seemingly endless tunnel. We had our moments, of course, particularly in the first two of the wilderness years, and one of those came in the featured match, when a late goal from Donald Park saw us bring the points back along the M8 to Glasgow. Correct me if I’m wrong, but it was the M8 even back then, although not in its present form.

Here are the details of the Thistle team. Alan Rough had gone by now, after completing 624 first-team appearances, so the last line of defence was provided by Dougie McNab, formerly of Alloa Athletic. The full backs were Gerry Doyle and the late Brian Whittaker. The remainder of the team was as follows: – John Murray, Andy Dunlop, Ian Jardine, Donald Park, Ian McDonald, Maurice Johnstone, Jamie Doyle, Alex O’Hara.

The talented and later to be controversial Maurice Johnston led the line. He remained with us until the following November and then moved on. This is typical of what happens when a club hits the skids – all the best players find the exit door. It’s a fact of football life.

How sweet was this! Donald Park’s winner came in the 87th minute, a body blow to the home side. Conceding late goals is something with which we are very familiar this season. Back in January 1983 the situation was the reverse – just three minutes to hold on and we were home and dry. There was far less in those days of “time added on” or at least there was a less of a fanfare about it – There will be four minutes of additional time, or more exactly a minimum of four minutes additional time – gives us the creeps, week in week out.

The Hearts player on the programme cover is the formidable Walter Kidd – he too gave me the creeps in his heyday!

Robert R

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