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Bobby Henderson

This piece of nostalgia is in response to a request from Andy Steele for memories of Thistle goalkeeper Bobby Henderson. I am happy to oblige with my own favourite memory, which relates to a Scottish Cup 1st round tie against Hibernian at Easter Road on 28th January 1950.


Thistle were opposed by no ordinary Hibs team. They had in the their ranks the finest forward line I have ever been privileged to see in Scottish football – yes, the Famous Five of Smith, Johnstone, Reilly, Turnbull and Ormond. They were magnificent. Thistle were under constant bombardment, especially down the (in)famous Easter Road slope, but Bobby Henderson refused to be beaten. Wave after wave of Hibs attacks were repelled by a string of superlative saves and Thistle won the match 1-0, courtesy of a goal by Archie McCallum. Don’t be thinking, however, that this was a one-man show – not by any means. The ten stalwarts in front of Bobby all played their part in producing a wonderful result. Credit is due to Jackie Husband(occupying Jimmy McGowan’s place as he had gone down with appendicitis if my memory serves me correctly), Bobby Gibb, Bertie Thomson, Bert Kinnell, Willie Hewitt, Archie McCallum, Bobby Howitt, Alex Stott, Willie Sharp, Jimmy Walker. They were heroes all, but the ultimate accolade has to go to Bobby Henderson, simply unbeatable on the day.

Bobby was an unassuming local lad from Maryhill, member of the 69th Boys Brigade and bellowed to Amisfield Street, not far from Firhill. In my very early Thistle-supporting days, the gloves were shared between Bobby and Tommy Ledgerwood. In all, Bobby played 324 matches for Thistle, often brilliant, certainly never better, however, than that day at Easter Road.

Robert R

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