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Robert Reid tribute to John Lambie

Following the sad news yesterday that John Lambie had passed away there was no shortage of tributes from friends, fans and former players. One man who knew John better than most, Robert Reid, was keen to add his voice to those offering their memories of the great man.

Writing as he recovered from a hip operation Robert, who is also Honorary vice-president, associate director and club historian, said: “It has often been suggested that to manage Partick Thistle you would have to be something of a masochist, with a dash of eccentricity thrown in! Are there any words fit to describe you if you undertake the task three times, as did our John? Who could volunteer for the role, other than the inimitable, irrepressible John Lambie?

“His passing has deprived not only Partick Thistle but Scottish football as a whole, of a real, almost unique, character, untouched by the intricacies of modern philosophy, which has taken such a grip of our beautiful game.

“Honesty, drive and enthusiasm always took pride of place. He wasn’t wildly enthusiastic about coaching manuals, dossiers or the strengths and weaknesses of forthcoming opposition. He had faith in his own tactics which he modestly claimed worked “99 times out of 10”! He demanded of hic charges that they produce 100% effort or, in his own inimitable languages, they “step up to the mantelpiece”.

“How does one asses the relative abilities of different managers whose circumstances, playing budgets or level of crowd support can vary so much? It is tough but, taking everything into account, John must surely be right up there among the elite of Thistle managers!

“One of Thistle’s all-time favourite sons is no longer with us. The dressing room wall will never again echo to the sound of the famous Lambie team talks, mildly eccentric at times, but hugely effective none the less.

“John’s players were at times deemed to be unspectacular but they were always committed to the cause, thus avoiding the fate of some of his errant pigeons who didn’t perform as expected. It was made clear to them in no uncertain fashion that their services were no longer required – many a player suffered the same fate!

“At this sad time our thoughts are with John’s family and friends, coming to terms with the loss of a unique man who loved life to the full and brought a lot of pleasure to others who valued his friendship.”

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