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Partick Thistle FC

Partick Thistle 4 Hearts 1

This match could be described as the Denis McQuade show, but to do so would be unfair to the remaining Thistle players because, as the score-line suggests, it was a pretty good all-round team performance. Of course, Denis stole the limelight with a dazzling hat-trick, typical of a player who, when on his game, could mesmerise any opposition placed before him. Admittedly, he could be a bit inconsistent, baffling himself at times, but the Thistle fans loved him and his playing statistics speak for themselves. In 333 first team matches he scored 82 goals, which is a very impressive record.

Drew Busby had opened the scoring for Hearts after 13 minutes, but Denis struck after 25 minutes and again 10 minutes later to send Thistle in with a 2-1 lead. Things got even better immediately after the resumption with a goal from Ronnie Glavin. Denis completed his treble after 74 minutes and there was no way back then for the men from Tynecastle.

Thinking back over the years one always tends to assume that Alan Rough would have been in goal, but not in the featured match, in which John Arrol was our last line of defence. This was manager Bertie Auld’s way of keeping Alan on his toes. Indeed, John Arrol made 16 first-team appearances in season 1974/75. The remainder of the Thistle team was as follows:- John Hansen, Danny Kellachan, Andy Anderson, Alan Hansen, Bobby Houston, Bobby Lawrie, Ronnie Glavin, Frank Coulston, Joe Craig, Denis McQuade. The substitutes were Johnny Gibson and Benny Rooney. This was a more than decent Thistle team but they finished disappointingly in 134th position and so missed out on a place in the newly-formed Premier Division. However, our elevation to the elite level was merely put on hold as we won the First Division championship in grand style the following year.

The photograph on the front cover of the match programme is from the opening league match of the season in which Thistle defeated Dunfermline Athletic 3-0. I am sure you are desperate to know, after a gap of nearly 43 years, who donated the match ball. The answer is – Mr. W. A. Gillies of Bishopbriggs car sales and the Beaufort Service Station, 100 Kirkintilloch Road, Bishopbriggs – does this ring any bells?

Robert R

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