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Partick Thistle F.C.

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Partick Thistle
Partick Thistle FC logo.svg
Full name Partick Thistle Football Club
Nickname(s) The Jags, The Harry Wraggs, The Maryhill Magyars, Thistle
Founded 1876; 139 years ago (1876)
Ground Firhill Stadium, Maryhill, Glasgow
Ground Capacity 10,102[1]
Chairman Scotland David Beattie
Manager Scotland Alan Archibald
League Scottish Premiership
2013–14 Scottish Premiership, 10th
Website Club home page
Current season

Partick Thistle Football Club (nicknamed the Jags) are a professional football club from Glasgow, Scotland. Despite their name, the club are based at Firhill Stadium in the Maryhill area of the city, and have not played in Partick since 1908. The club have been members of the Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL) since its formation in 2013 and currently compete in the Scottish Premiership, the highest tier of the SPFL structure, following promotion from the 2012–13 Scottish First Division. They are 1 of 2 Glasgow-based teams currently competing in the Premiership, the other being Celtic, with Rangers competing in the Scottish Championship and Queen's Park in the Scottish League Two.

Since 1936, the club have played in their distinct red-and-yellow jerseys of varying designs, with hoops, stripes and predominantly yellow tops with red trims having been used, although in 2009 a centenary kit was launched in the original navy-blue style to commemorate 100 years at Firhill.[2] Since 1908 the club have won the Scottish Second Division once and the Scottish First Division six times, most recently in 2013. Thistle have also won both the Scottish Cup and the Scottish League Cup in 1921 and 1971 respectively. They are currently managed by former defender Alan Archibald.


Formation and early years[edit]

Chart of yearly table positions of Partick Thistle in the Scottish football league.

Partick Thistle Football Club was formed in 1876 in the burgh of Partick, which was at that time administratively independent of Glasgow (Partick was not subsumed into Glasgow until 1912). The club’s first recorded match (and victory) took place in February against a local junior team, named Valencia.[3] The location of this match, and thereby Thistle’s first home ground, was recorded as ‘Overnewton Park’, which is thought to have been located next to Overnewton Road, just south of Kelvingrove Park.[4] In 1891, Partick Thistle joined the Scottish Football Alliance, one of several competitions set up immediately after the formation of the Scottish Football League in 1890. The club won the Second Division championship in 1897 and were elected to the First Division. The following season they were re-elected after finishing in eighth place. In 1900 they were elected back to the top level, having finished as Second Division champions again, but were relegated the following season and then promoted in second place in 1902. This would be the last time Thistle changed their division for almost 70 years.[5] Since joining the Scottish professional leagues in 1893, Thistle had been an unpredictable side, spending four years in the First Division and five in the Second, winning promotion three times. It was during the 1902–03 Scottish Division One season in which Thistle set their highest finish in the Scottish league structure, finishing 8th in the table with 19 points.[6] In the following 33 years, they moved from home to home, using parks at Kelvingrove, Jordanvale, Muirpark, Inchview and Meadowside among others. In 1909 they moved to their present home, Firhill Stadium, in the Maryhill District of Glasgow. They played their first home match at Firhill, on 18 September 1909, in a 3–1 victory against Dumbarton Harp.[7]

Cup success and league progress[edit]

In 1921 Thistle won the Scottish Cup, beating Rangers 1–0 in the final.[8] Johnny Blair scored the only goal of the game, which was held at Parkhead.[7] The Jags reached the final again nine years later, facing the same opposition, but Rangers won 2–1 in a replay following a 0–0 draw in the first match. In 1935 the Jags won both the Glasgow Cup and the Charity Cup, competitions that were taken seriously at the time.[9]

Although it was over 30 years before Thistle achieved further cup success they not only maintained their top tier status during this period but finished third in the league in 1947–48, 1953–54 and 1962–63.

On 23 October 1971 Davie McParland's team secured the club's most famous result against Jock Stein's Celtic in the League Cup final at Hampden Park, Glasgow. 62,470 fans watched Thistle take a dramatic 4–0 lead at half time with goals from Alex Rae, Bobby Lawrie and Jimmy Bone amongst the many emerging talents in the Thistle squad including Alan Rough, Alex Forsyth and Denis McQuade. Kenny Dalglish pulled a goal back for Celtic, however the final result was never in doubt as Thistle eased to a 4–1 victory. Ironically before the match, former BBC sport broadcaster Sam Leitch stated that "In Scotland, it's League Cup final day at Hampden Park, where Celtic meet Partick Thistle, who have no chance."[10]

Decline and "Save the Jags" campaign[edit]

Thistle's fortunes on the pitch declined during the 1980s. Although the club had experienced difficult times previously, having dropped into the second tier of Scottish football twice in the 1970s, they had bounced straight back up on both occasions. The relegation of 1982 led to the Club's first sustained period outside the top tier since the late 19th century. Although this period of exile ended with promotion in 1992, mounting financial problems, including a debt of over 1.5 million pounds, threatened to put the club out of existence.[11] In 1998 in particular the club was close to going bankrupt and was only kept afloat by the fan-organised "Save the Jags" campaign.[12] Despite avoiding financial oblivion Thistle were relegated to the third tier of Scottish Football in 1997–98 and only narrowly avoided a further relegation the following season, finishing in eighth place.

Revival under John Lambie[edit]

In 1999 John Lambie commenced his third period as manager of the club and under his stewardship Thistle enjoyed a brief revival, winning back-to-back promotions in 2000–01 and 2001–02, the second of which earned the club a place in the Scottish Premier League.

John Lambie

SPL guidelines at the time stipulated that clubs would only be eligible for promotion to the league if their stadium had a minimum 10,000 seated capacity. To comply with these guidelines the terraced section at the north end of Firhill was replaced with a 2000-seat stand. Speaking in 2004 Thistle Chairman Tom Hughes argued the club did not at the time require a stadium with such a large capacity and building the new stand 'seriously affected [their] competitiveness'.[13] Thistle maintained their place in the SPL under Lambie by finishing 10th in 2002–03, despite being favourites for relegation.[14]

Successive relegations and play-off promotion[edit]

Following Lambie's retirement at the end of the 2002–03 season, Thistle struggled. Gerry Collins (Lambie's assistant previously) was sacked mid-season and replaced with joint player-managers Derek Whyte and Gerry Britton.[15] This change was not enough to revive the team, and Thistle were relegated at the end of the 2003–04 season after Inverness, having won the First Division title, were permitted to groundshare with Aberdeen. In season 2004–05 the team continued to struggle and Whyte and Britton were dismissed mid-season. Dick Campbell, their successor, was unable to avoid relegation to the Second Division. He did return the club to the First Division the following season, through the newly introduced play-off system, having finished 4th in the league. This brought to a close the club's most unpredictable decade, in footballing terms at least: between 1996 and 2006 Thistle had been promoted three times and relegated four times. They were the first team in Scottish football to be relegated from the top flight through successive subsequent relegations (excluding those caused by league reconstruction).[16]

Ian McCall's tenure, 2007–2011[edit]

McCall managing Thistle

Despite starting well upon returning to the First Division, Dick Campbell was sacked on 27 March 2007,[17] following a succession of poor results.[18] A caretaker management team of Jimmy Bone and Terry Butcher saw out the season[19] before Ian McCall, a former player, was unveiled as manager. McCall's first season saw Thistle finish 6th in the First Division and embark on a successful Scottish Cup campaign, reaching the quarter-finals before being defeated by eventual winners Rangers after a 1–1 draw at Ibrox, Thistle lost the replay 2–0 at Firhill.[20] League form further improved in season 2008–09 with Thistle exceeding expectations to finish 2nd in the First Division, behind St. Johnstone. This season saw midfielder Gary Harkins win the Irn Bru Phenomenal Player of the Year and Jonathan Tuffey become the club's first full international for several years.

McCall quit his post as manager in April 2011, citing personal reasons.[21] Jackie McNamara was initially appointed as caretaker manager[22] before being made full-time manager of the club at the end of the 2010–2011 season.[23]

Jackie McNamara 2011–2013[edit]

McNamara and assistant Simon Donnelly guided Thistle to a sixth place finish in 2011–2012 season.[24] The following season Thistle started well and emerged as promotion candidates, competing with Dunfermline and Greenock Morton for a place in the following season's top flight. On 29 January 2013 the club gave permission to Dundee United to speak to McNamara about becoming their new manager.[25] The following day McNamara and his assistant Simon Donnelly resigned,[26] to become the new management team at United.[27][28] Along with Donnelly, McNamara brought goalkeeper Craig Hinchcliffe, Paul Paton and Chris Erskine to Tannadice. Thistle were second in the league at the time and, because McNamara was under contract, compensation was owed to the club.[29]

Alan Archibald[edit]

On 30 January 2013, Alan Archibald was appointed as the club's interim manager, with former Thistle player Scott Paterson as his assistant.[30] On 22 March, the duo were given the job on a permanent basis[31] signing a one year rolling contract.[32] The following month on 20 April 2013, the club clinched promotion to the Scottish Premiership[33] having sealed the First Division championship with a 2–0 victory away to Falkirk.[34] The title win meant Thistle returned to the top flight of Scottish football for the first time in nine years.[35] Thistle's initial return to the Premiership had mixed success. The team managed to maintain a relatively positive away record, however it was months before Thistle finally secured a home win, with them beating Aberdeen 3–1 at Firhill in February 2014.[36] Thistle managed to avoid the relegation and play-off spots, eventually finishing third-bottom, following a 4–2 win away to Hearts at Tynecastle.[37]

Club crest and colours[edit]

Logo used from 1990 until 2008

The first crest to appear on a Partick Thistle kit was a thistle design, and every logo since has featured a thistle. The thistle appeared first in 1902, then again in 1909. It remained until 1978, when a new logo with the thistle housed inside a roundel was used. A modernist logo with the thistle on a rectangle was introduced in 1990, and the current crest was introduced in 2008.[38]

The Jags flirted with a number of colour schemes in their early years. From their inception until 1900 the kits were predominantly blue with red and white trimmings. There was then a brief period in which the players wore an orange and black striped top with white shorts and black socks. This was replaced in 1905 by a colour scheme close to that used by Aston Villa, before the club reverted to the predominantly blue kits in 1909. In season 1936–37 they changed to, and settled upon, the red-yellow-and-black attire for which they are best known, this change having being triggered initially by the club borrowing kits from the local rugby union team, West of Scotland Football Club.[39]

In 2008–09 and 2009–10, Thistle became the first football club in Scotland to use pink as the primary colour in their away kit. In 2008–09 this took the form of silver- and pink-hooped tops, while the following season they adopted a more modern camouflage look.[40]

The current home kit is a yellow and red striped top with black collar, accompanied with black shorts and red socks. The away kit is a black top with pink collar and underarm, with white shorts and pink socks. The kit was released in aid of cancer research and has a breast cancer awareness ribbon on the centre of the kit.[41] Joma currently produce Thistle’s kits, having taken over from Puma in season 2013–14.[42]


Main article: Firhill Stadium
Firhill Stadium
Firhill No2.jpg
Location Maryhill, Glasgow, Scotland
Owner Partick Thistle
Operator Partick Thistle
Capacity 10,102[1]
Opened 1909
Architect David Mills Duncan
Partick Thistle F.C. (1909–present)
Clyde F.C.(1986–1991)
Hamilton Academical F.C.(1994–2001)
Glasgow Warriors (2005–2012)

Before moving to the Maryhill area in 1909, Partick Thistle hosted their home games over numerous sites in and around Glasgow including Kelvingrove Park, Jordanvale Park and Muir Park. In 1891, the club moved to Meadowside, near the River Clyde. However, a short time later Thistle were forced to vacate the area to make way for a new shipyard.

Partick Thistle moved to their present home, Firhill Stadium, in 1909, when they purchased some spare Caledonian Railway land in Maryhill for £5,500.[43] The stadium currently consists of three stands: the Main Stand, where the away support is housed, which was built in 1927 and can seat around 2,900 supporters; the Jackie Husband Stand, which was built in 1994 and has a capacity of approximately 6,500; and the North Stand, which can house around 2,000 supporters. On the south side of the stadium there is a grass embankment, known to home fans as "The Bing", which was previously open terracing until this was demolished in 2006 due to the stand failing to meet the criteria of Scottish Football Association safety regulations. There have been various plans to redevelop the south end of the stadium but thus far none have come to fruition.

Firhill has been used by other football teams and for rugby over the years. Between 1986 and 1991 Clyde ground shared with Thistle,[43] following their eviction from Shawfield.[44] Hamilton Academical also ground shared for two spells over seven years,[45] following them being forced out of Douglas Park in 1994. In December 2005, Firhill also became the home of Glasgow's professional rugby union team, Glasgow Warriors, when they moved from their previous base at Hughenden Stadium. After returning to Hughenden in 2006, the Warriors took up a two-year residency at Firhill from the start of the 2007–08 Celtic League season.[46] This was extended in April 2009 for a further five years.[47][48] Glasgow Warriors left Firhill after the 2011–12 season and moved to Scotstoun Stadium.[49][50] During the 2012–13 season the ground was also used by Celtic's under-20 squad as their home ground,[51] but following Partick's promotion this stopped for the 2013–14 season.[52]

During the 2013/14 season, the Main Stand was re-opened to seat the high number of away supporters. In one instance, the North Stand was used for Celtic supporters as fears grew over fire dangers.

Maryhill railway station, which is served by trains from Glasgow Queen Street, is the closest railway station to Firhill.[53] The walk between the two sites takes between 20 and 25 minutes.[53] On the Glasgow Subway network, Kelvinbridge and St George's Cross are within 15 minutes walk of the stadium.[53] The A81 road (Maryhill Road), leading to Firhill Road, runs from the M8 motorway.[53]

The club currently train at the Garscube Sports Complex in Bearsden, East Dunbartonshire.[54]

Notable former players[edit]

All former players or managers listed have been inducted into either the Scottish Football Hall of Fame or Partick Thistle's own Hall of Fame. These include players who participated in both the 1921 Scottish Cup Final and the 1971 Scottish League Cup Final.[55][56]

Scottish Hall of Fame[edit]

Club Hall of Fame[edit]


Thistle play Kilmarnock in the Scottish Premiership

Thistle fans sing songs during matches, some of which are relatively generic but others which are unique. Choruses of "Rellow Army", "Mary fae Maryhill", "Over Land and Sea", "Forever and Ever", "We've Followed the Thistle for Many a Day", "Oh Maryhill is wonderful", "Do Do Do Conrad Balatoni" and "Gerry Britton is the King of Spain" are commonly heard in the singing section of the home support, in the North Stand or "New Shed".[57]

During their previous foray into the top flight of Scottish football in season 2002–03 attendances exceeded 6,000, whereas in the lower divisions they have tended to range between 2,000 and 4,000.

On the day of their return to the top flight against Dundee United on 2 August 2013, the attendance at Firhill was 7,822.[58]

Notable supporters[edit]

Some famous supporters include Craig Ferguson, host of the popular American chat show The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. Maryhill born actor Robert Carlyle is also a famous supporter, stating he would rather watch the Jags than watch Arsenal or Manchester United.[59] Along with Ferguson and Carlyle, world number 26 British tennis player Colin Fleming is also a known supporter of the Jags. BBC journalist Laura Kuenssberg and Hollyoaks actor Chris Fountain are also fans.[60] The Good Morning Britain presenter Ross King is allegedly a fan of the club. The historian Niall Ferguson was a supporter while growing up in Glasgow, stating that "they were the atheists' team. You couldn't believe in God and support Partick Thistle."[61]


The club's main sponsor is MacB, which was confirmed at the start of the 2011/12 season.[62] However, MacB went into administration half way through the season, and was replaced by legal company Just Employment Law for the remainder of the 2011/12 season.[63] MacB resumed sponsorship of Partick Thistle in the summer of 2012, and subsequently signed a two year extension, keeping them as main sponsors until the end of the 2014/15 season. Scottish security system company Alarmfast also started sponsoring Thistle for the 2014/15 season. Thistle's mascot is a large bumblebee named Jaggy MacBee.[64]

Jaggy MacBee, mascot of Partick Thistle.

Thistle's kit maker is Spanish manufacturers Joma, having replaced Puma Sports at the start of the 2013/14 season.[65]

Community Trust[edit]

Partick Thistle Ladies[edit]

Following a successful set-up of women's football in Glasgow, with teams such as Celtic L.F.C., Glasgow City and Rangers L.F.C., Partick Thistle entered a women's team into the 2013 Scottish Women's Football League Second Division season.[66]

The team currently train at the Firhill Complex in Maryhill.

Thistle Weir Youth Academy[edit]

In October 2013, millionaires and long time Thistle fans Chris and Colin Weir donated £750,000 to Partick Thistle to set up a new advanced youth academy. The academy was named the Thistle Weir Youth Academy and is run by former striker Gerry Britton.[67]

Current squad[edit]

First team squad[edit]

As of 28 February 2015[68]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 Scotland GK Scott Fox
2 Scotland DF Stephen O'Donnell
3 England DF Danny Seaborne (vice-captain)
4 Scotland MF Sean Welsh (Captain)[69]
5 Scotland DF Callum Booth (on loan from Hibernian)
6 England DF Conrad Balatoni
7 England MF James Craigen
8 Scotland MF Stuart Bannigan
9 Scotland FW Kris Doolan
10 Scotland MF Ryan Stevenson
11 Scotland MF Steven Lawless
12 Scotland GK Paul Gallacher (vice-captain)[70]
13 Belgium DF Frédéric Frans
No. Position Player
14 England FW Christie Elliott
15 England MF Kallum Higginbotham
17 Scotland DF Ryan Finnie
18 Ghana MF Abdul Osman
21 England DF Ben Richards-Everton
22 Scotland MF Gary Fraser
23 Scotland MF David Wilson
24 Australia FW Chris Duggan
28 Scotland MF Declan McDaid
29 Montserrat FW Lyle Taylor (on loan from Scunthorpe United)
30 Scotland DF Dale Keenan

Under-20s squad[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
20 Scotland GK Marc Waters
25 Scotland FW Jordan Leyden
No. Position Player
27 Scotland FW Jonathan Black
For recent transfers, see List of Scottish football transfers summer 2013

Out on loan[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
26 Scotland DF Liam Lindsay (To Airdrieonians)[71]
No. Position Player
Scotland GK Ryan Scully (To Dunfermline Athletic)[72]

Management and non-playing staff[edit]

Individual achievements[edit]

Full internationalists[edit]

The following players have participated in full internationals for their respective countries whilst playing for Thistle. Statistics include all caps gained in their international career, including those before or after their Thistle careers.

Name Country Caps Goals
Jákup Mikkelsen[90] Faroe Islands Faroe Islands 71 0
Stephen Craigan Northern Ireland Northern Ireland 55 0
Alan Rough Scotland Scotland 53 0
Quinton Jacobs Namibia Namibia 28 4
Jimmy Gibson Scotland Scotland 16 1
Jimmy McMullan Scotland Scotland 16 0
Neilly Gibson Scotland Scotland 14 1
George Cummings Scotland Scotland 14 0
Alex Forsyth Scotland Scotland 10 0
Johnny Mackenzie Scotland Scotland 9 1
Johnny Jackson Scotland Scotland 9 0
Jimmy Davidson Scotland Scotland 8 1
Kenny Campbell Scotland Scotland 8 0
Jonathan Tuffey Northern Ireland Northern Ireland 7 0
Harry Chatton Republic of Ireland Ireland/Irish Free State 6 0
Adrian Madaschi Australia Australia 4 2
Willie Paul Scotland Scotland 3 5
Alex McSpadyen Scotland Scotland 3 0
Hugh Brown Scotland Scotland 3 0
Jackie Husband Scotland Scotland 3 0
Neil Harris Scotland Scotland 2 0
Andy Kerr Scotland Scotland 2 0
Tommy Ewing Scotland Scotland 2 0
John Hansen Scotland Scotland 2 0
Nicky Walker Scotland Scotland 2 0
Willie Howden Scotland Scotland 1 0
Jimmy Kinloch Scotland Scotland 1 0
David Mathers Scotland Scotland 1 0
Fraser Dalglish Scotland Scotland 1 0
Lyle Taylor Montserrat Montserrat 1 1


Thistle win the 2012–13 Scottish First Division.



  • British Cup:
    • Winners (1): 1921
  • Glasgow Cup:
    • Winners (7): 1934–35, 1950–51, 1952–53, 1954–55, 1960–61, 1980–81, 1988–89
    • Runners up (11) 1888–89, 1900–01, 1911–12, 1914–15, 1917–18, 1919–20, 1932–33, 1936–37, 1959–60, 1966–67, 1968–69
  • Glasgow Merchants' Charity Cup:
    • Winners (3): 1926–27, 1934–35, 1948–49
  • Summer Cup:
    • Winners (1): 1945
  • West of Scotland FA Cup:
    • Winners (1): 1879
  • Glasgow Dental Cup:
    • Winners (1): 1929
  • Greenock Charity Cup:[93]
    • Winners (1): 1893
  • Paisley Charity Cup:
    • Winners (1): 1936
  • Yoker Cup:[94]
    • Winners (3): 1881, 1882, 1883
  • Arr Craib Trophy:[95]
    • Winners (1): 2012
  • Tennents' Sixes:[96]
    • Winners (1): 1993 (final winners)

Club records[edit]

  • Highest record home attendance: 49,838 vs Rangers, Scottish First Division, 18 February 1922[97]
  • Most league appearances: Alan Rough, 410[97]
  • Most league goals in a season: Alec Hair, 41, 1926–27[97]
  • Record defeat: 0–10 v Queen's Park, Scottish Cup, 3 December 1881[97]
  • Record victory: 16–0 v Royal Albert, Scottish Cup 1st round, 17 January 1931[97]
  • Record points total: 78, Scottish First Division, 2012–13[97]
  • Record transfer fee paid: £85,000 to Celtic for Andy Murdoch, February 1991[97]
  • Record transfer fee received: £200,000 from Watford for Mo Johnston 1982[97]

European record[edit]

Thistle have participated in European competition on three different occasions. On the first occasion, they qualified having finished third in the First Division. They progressed to the second round of the Fairs Cup before being eliminated by Spartak Brno. They qualified for the UEFA Cup in 1972–73 after winning the League Cup the previous season; Hungarian side Honvéd eliminated them in the first round.[98] Their most recent European campaign was the 1995 UEFA Intertoto Cup, when they finished 4th with four points in Group 6.[99]

Season Competition Round Opponent Home Away Aggregate
1963–64 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup First round Northern Ireland Glentoran 3–0 4–1 7–1
Second round Czechoslovakia Spartak Brno 3–2 0–4 3–6
1972–73 UEFA Cup First round Hungary Budapest Honvéd 0–3 0–1 0–4
1995–96 UEFA Intertoto Cup Group 6 Austria LASK Linz 2–2
Iceland Keflavík 3–1
France Metz 0–1[100]
Croatia NK Zagreb 1–2


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