A Bewildering Day I Could Have Done Without!
Everyone seems to think of Partick Thistle as the plucky little underdogs,the team of choice for the neutral or non-aligned footballers. Or as the butt of the occasional joke,like everyone knowing them as Partick Thistle Nil. They obviously weren’t where I was on 23 October 1971.
I wasn’t long turned eight years old,but was already a four year veteran at Celtic Park. But that was it,I’d never yet been to an away match apart from Clyde,Kilmarnock or Ayr. This wasn’t just an away match,it was a Cup Final! You’ll gather that all my Christmases had come at once when my Dad told me I was going to the game on the Saturday,and I was getting increasingly excited as the week dragged on.
Partick Thistle Nil? No-one told their players that on the day. We were,admittedly,missing a few of our regulars but still had a team available to take comfortable care of the game. Ronnie Glavin gave Jimmy a dull one early on,subbed by Jim Craig,and of course they were four up by half time.
I’d never even seen Celtic lose a match before. Ever. And certainly not this heavily,and by half time too. I do know that the expression-WTF?-didn’t occur to me,but I’m quite sure that they did for most of the crowd-even the Thistle fans!
So fast forward about 25-30 years,and I’m in the company-not for the last time-of one of the goalscorers that day. Bobby Lawrie. His daughter was the barmaid in my local and he finally opened up a wee bit about how surprised they were too at events. He said he would never forget that day-I assured him that I wouldn’t either!
So we play them again today,and for the second time in a cup competition this season. Last time,it was 5-0 to the good guys,with Scott Sinclair scoring and more importantly,Jeremie Frimpong making his debut. I’ll take that or similar today too,thank you. But let’s not be churlish about things. Partick Thistle thoroughly deserved their victory that day,and those players deserved their day in the sun,or maybe a wee chat now and again thirty years later down the pub. I’m finally over it,I guess. But here’s a marvellous article I unearthed which gives you some flavour of being a Partick Thistle player that day.
Above article by BMCUWP.