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Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle FC

Partick Thistle 3 Celtic 3

This was a six goal thriller with a very dramatic ending. Let’s go back to the earlier stages of the match, however, when things had panned out pretty much along the predicted lines.

Celtic were able to field eight of the team which won the European Cup in 1967. In stark contrast Thistle finished season 1968/69 in 14th place, they were on the slide and duly suffered the ignominy of relegation the following season

Nonetheless, Thistle put on a decent show and held Celtic in check until the 40th minute when John Hughes opened the scoring. This was followed by a second Celtic goal after 56 minutes, courtesy this time of Willie Wallace. We in the home support, looking rather glum, thought “oh dear, here we go again”.

However, there was a glimmer of hope when Jimmy Bone pulled one back for the Jags after 61 minutes. Alas, normal service was resumed when Bobby Murdoch restored Celtic’s two goal lead just two minutes later, but Thistle still had the bottle to fight on and Johnny Flanagan netted after 70 minutes to set the scene for a grandstand finish. The scene was set, the script was perfect as, with just 30 seconds of normal time remaining, Jimmy Bone smashed in the equaliser. In those days 90 minutes meant 90 minutes.

We were still a long way from the fourth official holding up a board and the announcer telling us the number of additional minutes to be played. We had an example of that at Tynecastle recently. Hearts, in the ascendancy, equalised very late on, and then we had the dreaded board indicating four additional minutes – it’s bad for already frayed nerves!

Anyway, reverting to the featured match, the following team had indeed forced a replay at Parkhead, no doubt warmly welcomed by the club treasurer:

Billy Ritchie, Jackie Campbell, Robert Gray, John Hansen, Donnie McKinnon, George O’Neill, Dan McLindon, David McParland, Johnny Flanagan, Jimmy Bone, Arthur Duncan.

The listed substitute (one only in those days) was George Cumming.

Incidentally, no further mention will be made of the ensuing replay – not a single word; and I’m sure you, the readers, lead busy lives, so don’t waste valuable time researching it.

The programme was priced at one shilling, soon to re-emerge as five pence.

Inside there is an advert for the Firhill Club, described “The Brightest Nightspot in the North West” – those were the days!

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