Partick Thistle FC logo
Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle FC

Partick Thistle 4 Hearts 4

Scottish League – Division A


Stop rubbing your eyes or dashing away for stronger glasses. Yes, this eight-goal thriller was played on Christmas Day. There was nothing unusual about that in those days. The 20,289 people who attended the match didn’t seem to have a problem with the date of the fixture.

Personally, I have always taken the view that if Christmas Day falls on a Saturday, so be it. I am probably in the minority of one(nothing new there then) and before I am inundated with reminders that there is no public transport nowadays on Christmas Day, let me say I fully accept that point. I think the last time we played on Christmas Day was in 1971.

One week on from the highlighted fixture, Thistle played Clyde at Shawfield, i.e. on New Year’s Day and, wait for it, advertised in the featured programme is an up-coming game between Thistle reserves and Queen of the South reserves, schedules for 1st January 1955 at Firhill. I have no proof that this actually took place.


Turning now to the chosen match, it was a real, old-fashioned Firhill thriller, the type of game which gave rise to “Firhill for Thrills”, a term widely used in football circles. Remember Thistle had finished 3rd in the league in season 1953/54 and a lot of that form was carried forward to the following year.

This is how the team lined up :- Tommy Ledgerwood, Jimmy McGowan, Peter Collins, Andy Kerr, Jimmy Davidson, Davie Mathers, Johnny MacKenzie, Bobby Howitt, George Smith, Alex Wright and David McParland. Thistle scorers were Bobby Howitt(whose shots were so powerful they became known as Howitzers), Andy Kerr with a double and the prolific George Smith, who netted 125 goals for the Jags. Listed for Hearts were, among others, the famous inside-forward trio of Conn, Bauld and Wardhaugh, the emerging Dave Mackay and former Thistle stalwart Bobby Parker.


Interestingly, the top four in the final 1954/55 league table were Aberdeen, Celtic, Rangers and Hearts. It is widely forecast that this will again be the case in 2016/17, although probably not in that order. Few would bet against it. What do you think? I am inclined(albeit reluctantly) to agree.

Robert R

< Back