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Partick Thistle FC

Partick Thistle 2 Rangers 0


I have gone back a very long way for this one. You will be looking at that score-line and saying – let’s have more of the same, please. Believe me, if it were within my power, I would be delighted to provide exactly that.

The Thistle boys who did the trick, sending us home with a spring in our step, were as follows:- John Freebairn, Joe Hogan, Dougie Baird, Alex Wright, John Harvey, Frank Donlevy, George Smith, Ian Wilson, Andy Kerr, Davie McParland, Tommy Ewing.

In spite of this result and several other excellent ones against strong opposition, Thistle still finished up mid-table, 9th out of 18 competing teams. One or two details pertaining to individuals make interesting reading and will stimulate the memories. The last line of defence John Freebairn was, to say the least, unorthodox, leaving his goal unguarded to thwart marauding attackers. Joe Hogan was a full back but also a centre-forward, an unusual combination, and while playing the vast majority of his 296 matches in defence, still came up with 26 goals, of which the most amusing was a long range trundler which deceived Celtic goalkeeper Frank Haffey at Parkhead and found the net. Dougie Baird was steady as a rock at left back. Alex Wright was very versatile, doubling up as an inside-forward, amassing 351 appearances and 86 goals. John Harvey, beginning at right-half before moving to central defence, played 435 times for Thistle’s first eleven. John was our guest at the Thistle v Hamilton Accies on 23rd December, making the half-time draw. Frank Donlevy was a fiery red-head who took no prisoners, as the saying goes. He emigrated to Australia. George Smith was very pacey, participating each year in the Powderhall Sprint Race. He made 344 appearances ad remarkably he scored 125 goals. In the featured match he fired both goals beyond Rangers goalkeeper George Niven, later to join Thistle and do very well at Firhill. Ian Wilson was a cultured inside-forward who had scored a hat-trick two days previously in a 3-0 Thistle triumph against Clyde at Shawfield. Andy Kerr, like Joe Hogan, had two contrasting sides to his game. He joined Thistle as a defender from the junior side Lugar Boswell Thistle and played many games at full-back and centre-half, out of his total of 253 first-team matches. Someone had the bright idea to play him at centre-forward in a testimonial for Jimmy McGowan on 2nd December 1957. Thistle played a Glasgow Select on a foggy night and Andy Kerr scored twice in a 3-2 victory. Andy never looked back, or stepped back to his earlier defensive beat and netted 44 goals for Thistle. His prowess as a centre-forward even earned him international recognition.

It has all been said about David McParland, a true Thistle legend and No1 in the Hall of Fame. He amassed a massive 587 appearances and found the net 110 times, not to mention his managing the League Cup-winning side in 1971. Last but not least in Thistle’s victorious team against Rangers was Scottish internationalist Tommy Ewing, who gave many a defence a torrid time during his 254 games for Thistle when he scored 84 goals.

Here endeth your historical profile of whose who put a broad smile on Jags faces in 1959. The crowd was reported to be 36,000, the vast majority of whom had a miserable afternoon – shame.

Robert R

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