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Partick Thistle FC
Partick Thistle FC

Blast From The Past – Queen of the South

Scottish League ‘A’ Division

22nd March 1952

Partick Thistle 3 Queen of the South 0

This was a fairly straightforward and comfortable victory for Thistle against their visitors from Dumfries, in what was our final ‘A’ division league match for the season in which we finished in a very respectful 6th place. The front cover of the programme was almost devoid of information so let’s put focus on the centre pages for a bit of variety.

The team which Thistle fielded was exactly the one printed in the programme, which in itself is a bit unusual, Norman McCreadie played at left-back, a position more often filled by Bobby Gibb. The rest of the team was more or less along the usual lines, with Willie Crawford perhaps a surprise selection in place of Jimmy Davidson. The full line-up was as follows:- Tommy Ledgerwood, Jimmy McGowan, Norman McCreadie, Bertie Thomson, Willie Crawford, Davie Mathers, the Firhill Flyer Johnny MacKenzie, Alex Wright, Alex Scott, Willie Sharp, Jimmy Walker, the fastest Thistle player I have ever seen.

Johnny MacKenzie scored twice, and the other goal came from Jimmy McGowan, the only goal he ever scored for Thistle in 543 first team appearances, which is hardly a remarkable strike rate. One has to remember, however, that in those far-off days a defender’s job was to defend, pure and simple. One has to ask – what on earth was he so far up the field for? – deserting his defensive duties. Today we see numbers 2 and 3 going rampaging into enemy territory, which is all very fine and exciting, but then when the attack breaks down there is no one covering the back, which is far from clever.

Anyway, Jimmy McGowan, also known as Tiger or Whitey, was a tremendous servant for Partick Thistle, and I consider myself privileged to have watched him in his heyday.

This 3-0 victory was a good performance by Thistle, even if it meant that the ‘Doonhamers’ became the only team in the league to fail to win a single game away from home. Why ‘Doonhamers’? You are asking. Well, Jackie Husband, who was manager of the Dumfries side for a short spell, explained to me how the nickname came about. Many people from Dumfries and the surrounding areas worked in Glasgow, so they stayed there during the week and then went ‘doon’ ‘hame’ at the weekend – simple.

When I spoke of Johnny MacKenzie, I referred to him as the Firhill Flyer, because of his speed. There is a school of thought which claims that that title should go to Jimmy Walker. Does anyone among our older fans have thoughts on the matter? Let me know.


Robert R.

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