Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Christmas Goblin

A festive special! VBL, Manly J. Panda, Donald "Marc Corcoran" Balatoni, Macky, MC, Craig Walker and our listener, Twinny are all on the show!

We discuss Thistle's All Time Worst XI, Conrad Balatoni, standing at the fitba and comment on the victory over Queen of the South. They're in the Bible, you know.



Saturday, 17 December 2011


VBL and Donald Marc Corcoran return to the Jagscast, but everyone else is away... They discuss Steven Seagal lookalike Paul Paton's recent form, moving away from Firhill, and how Thistle should repay us for years of hurt.

VBL takes some time to interview the woman behind and finds out why women don't go to football.

Oh yeh, we got beat off Raith Rovers at home too...

Sunday, 4 December 2011

East Kilbride Under Twelves

No VBL, Donald or Mackie this week. In their absence, Manly J. Panda talks to Cowie about players who are past it and how to score goals.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Chest and Head

The latest podcast is now available to download. If you aren't subscriber, then why the hell not?!?

Ok, fine. Follow this link:

VBL is joined by Cowie, Donald "Marc Corcoran" Balatoni, Ethan Hunt and Manly J. Panda to discuss fantasy goals, the Big Interview with Jackie, football as an art form, as well as the replay against Culter.

Thoroughly entertaining stuff.

Supporting a Football Team

We gave one of our contributors, David Hamilton, the task of writing about how to support a football team. He tells us something that we arguably already know. Supporting a football team is one thing, supporting Partick Thistle is entirely different...

“Culter and the fallout.”

I like to think of supporting a football team is a lot like having a pet cat. You love it, you spend money on it, you do almost everything to win its affection…but we all know it secretly loathes you, and will scratch your eyeballs out if given half the chance. Ok, maybe that’s not the best way to describe being a Jags fan, but you get my drift. In essence your unconditional love seems to merit little reward.

A lot of fallout has followed the recent catastrophic, unimaginable, unforgivable, cardinal sinning draw to Junior North Super League side Culter FC. At this point I think it would be advisable to say that if you were thinking that Partick Thistle FC were going to go on an away trip, against a team we were expected to beat, and win by 6 or 7 goals, please: say goodbye to your friends and family because I’m sending Dr. Wertheimer of the Glasgow Psychiatric Department to pick you up momentarily. The argument that seems to have followed this result seems to be along the lines of, “if Airdrie can win 11-0,” or “if Livingston can beat Irvine, why can’t we?” It’s a good point…but unfortunately not a valid one. The one thing that these other SFL teams had going for them which we didn’t, is that they are not Partick Thistle Football Club.

The Jags have always made it hard for themselves in any given situation. I have always held the belief that there are two ways of getting things done in football: the easy way, or the Partick Thistle way. We choose the latter. But through thick and thin, through the rough and the smooth, The Jags can always count on one thing…the loyalty and unconditional support of its fans. Unfortunately, the events after full time up in Peterculter has divided the Thistle support, especially after a video emerged on the internet of rather heated Jags fans letting the players know exactly how they felt in no uncertain terms. After seeing this video I personally (and unusually for me, I must admit) fell into the slightly left-winged side of the spectrum, I didn’t enjoy it, or agree with it at all.

Come the evening of Saturday 19th November 2011, the Jags forum had literally gone into meltdown, with, I am sure, a record number of posts slamming the performance of the players. A bad day at the office for sure. However an argument that kept coming up was “well these guys just don’t care,” or “they are guaranteed a wage so they don’t want to put in any effort on the pitch.” I don’t agree with this. Footballers don’t become professional (or maintain professional standards) by not caring. In order to become a professional footballer, or successful businessman, or a successful venture capitalist you need one thing…determination. Nobody and I mean literally nobody would have been more hurt, more disappointed or more shamed by the performance than the players themselves.

Any footballer will tell you that they would see last Saturday’s performance as a personal failing, and would strive to improve as a result. Individual performances were very poor, but the player’s determination to improve and rise above that blow cannot be underestimated. Personally speaking, as someone who is glutton for punishment being a goalkeeper for a Sunday League side, I know personally how hard I beat myself up over mistakes made during a game (albeit through a drunken haze from the previous night), and I believe the players would have been feeling exactly the same in the dressing room after Saturdays match. But regardless of your sport, there is just one thing that an athlete cannot stand…and that is losing (oh yes, that result felt like a loss). An athlete must have a competitive streak in them in order to succeed, and I am sure that streak, coupled with the hurt of that match will make a very young team flourish in the future.

As mentioned above, and by our manager on numerous occasions, we have a very young and inexperienced team. The vast majority of those players are just starting to find their feet in the full-time professional game and the mistakes and errors they make now will stand them in good stead for the future. But what doesn’t help is the unconstructive criticism that was all too evident after the Culter game. You don’t need to be swearing or shouting at the players for them to realise they didn’t perform anywhere near the standards that Partick Thistle Football Club expect. They know that themselves. A player’s confidence can all but evaporate if they feel they do not have the full backing and support of their fans behind them! Nobody says you can’t be angry at a poor result, if you pay the gate money you are more than entitled to a say, but does that outweigh the argument that by doing so you could completely rip a player’s morale or confidence apart?

Now, it’s Friday 25th November, I still have no idea if Partick Thistle will beat Culter at Firhill. My heart and my head say yes we will. And I for one will be at Firhill tomorrow, cheering the boys to victory. I can only hope as many as possible will join me, and hopefully bury the unpleasantness of the past week both on and off the park. An unconditional love for the club must be accompanied by a support of all its players and followers alike. People seem to forget that footballers, just like everyone else, have personal or emotional problems off the park that can hinder their performance on it. I am confident that only a tiny fraction of players will not give their all on a Saturday. For this reason we must unite as supporters, and cheer on our team. Partick Thistle has been through harder times in the past, but through those hard times one constant has remained…the love of its supporters and their desire to “follow them everywhere.”

C’mon Thistle.

David Hamilton

Friday, 25 November 2011

The Big Interview

Manly J. Panda vs Jackie McNamara
Manly J. Panda takes a break from writing his thesis to chat to Jackie McNamara. They discuss the game up at Culter, players' attitudes, social networking and league reconstruction.

Available to download here:

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Pick Your All Time Thistle XI

Using the players selected by the Jagscasters, you can now vote for your All Time XI. Follow the link for each position to vote:

Remember, we were only allowed to select players who we have seen play! Not our fault that there are some GLARING omissions! Thank goodness for Davie Ferguson's team.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Ivor Culter

Join VBL, Donald and Macky on their journey up to Peterculter where they bump into Craig Walker and Cowie.

There's some stuff about football too. And worms.


Saturday, 19 November 2011

Jenny Jag's Mum's All-Time XI

JJM, a Thistle follower all her life but especially since the 00/01 season and mother of the youngest ever Thistle fan, picks her All-Time XI based on ability, looks and amusing anecdotes. No place for Charnley, Rowson or Britton, she's confident that her team will win more games and sell more calendars than the rest.

Goalkeeper: Kenny Arthur

King Kenny knew who I was. "That strange girl in the pink jacket" cheered on a man who was one of our two best goalkeepers for a full ten years.

Centre Back: Stephen Craigan

He is required for his amazing throw-ins, and he seems like a thoroughly nice bloke.

Centre Back: Alan Archibald

Do I need to explain this? He's going to make massive runs up the field for us and we can sing his special song.

Sweeper: Scott Paterson

Mainly due to his amazing goal against ICT, his haircut - or lack thereof - and the fact that he featured in my favourite April Fool's of all time, when we tricked our cousin into believing he was being sold to Aberdeen.

Defensive Midfield: Mark McNally and Danny Lennon

"The Beast" another fantastic haircut, and Danny Lennon's pointing, both things remembered through the years.

Centre Midfield: Manny Panther

Cause he was cool, had a cool name and was a local lad. He was also tall, which was handy.

Attacking Midfield: Martin Hardie

Possibly one of the most entertaining thistle players, but also not a bad player.

Centre Forward: Scott McLean

Ah, not the brightest lad, but handsome. He featured on a painting on my ceiling for a number of years, of a mock up of The Creation, with God reaching out to Scott over Firhill. No, really.

Left Wing: Paul Walker

Small, quick and lovely.

Right Forward: Peter Lindau

Ah, there's only one swede in Glasgow!

Subs: Nicky Walker, James 'Banjo' McKinstry, Derek Fleming, Chris Erskine, Kris Doolan

Walker, cos he was an alright goalie, and I remembered his Phantom mask.
Banjo, a guilty crush.
Fleming, cos he was pretty good, despite what the bloke in front of us thought! "You're useless Fleming!" um, he's just scored...
Erskine, Gangly lad, think he should do well.
Doolan, cos my big brother said I had to have a striker on the bench.

Davie Ferguson's All-Time XI

Poppa Jag has named his All-Time Thistle XI. He reckons that they'll tear the young'uns a new one. What do you think?

Goalkeeper: Alan Rough
Roughie was worth at least 10 points a season to a swashbuckling Thistle who were far from being tight at the back. An instinctive goalkeeper who, at the time, was among the best in the world.

Right Back: Jackie Campbell
A great leader, Campbell shades Craigan as captain of this All-Time XI. A more defensive option at right back adds stability to the side. 406 games for the Jags and a solitary goal.

Left Back: Sandy Brown
In his time, Brown was a flair player, a novelty at fullback. I only saw him for about a season before he moved to Everton and he was really missed by Jags fans, many of whom started looking out for the Toffeemen's results. A top player, who scored one of the best own goals of all time.

Centre Back: Alan Hansen
I'm sure this player would have been in all the JagsCast XIs if the selectors had been old enough to see him. A stylish, skillful defender who read the game beautifully and went on to be one of the best players in Europe.

Centre Back: Stephen Craigan
Reliable, solid defender, great at one of my favourite skills in football: the long throw. He offered a credible threat from the touchline with his throw-ins, an essential feature in our double promotions. Not as good a reader of the game as Hansen, no matter what Manly J. Panda and VBL think.

Defensive Midfield: David Rowson
I'm going to use Rowson in a truncated version of his box-to-box role, with responsibility for winning the ball and driving counter-attacks, as well as filling in for the marauding Brown. Rowser can also strike a ball at goal, as we all know. The best and most consistent Thistle player over the last 10 years.

Centre Midfield: James Callaghan Charnley
I knew about Chic's ability when he was at primary school. In fact, I saw him sent-off for foul and abusive language aged 10 years old in a schools match (I was manager of the opposition, and delighted to see him go on that occasion). While he had excellent skill on the ball and read the game brilliantly, he's in the team for his passing ability: he could land the ball anywhere on the park with a swipe of his left boot.

Right Midfield: Robert "Bobby" Houston
Speed and trickery. An unpredictable player. My mate Joe and I even named a drink after him: a Bobby Houston is tequila and irn-bru.

Left Inside Forward: Neil Duffy
A good goalscoring record (better than 1 in 3), Duffy can still be seen at Firhill nowadays. A clever player with the ball at his feet and set up dozens of goals for his strike partners. He always reminded me of Puskas's mate Ferenc Bene, both physically and in terms of play. A true Maryhill Magyar.

False Nine: Gerry Britton
Good eye for goal, Britton was skillful in his own way, and he did an awful lot for school football in the Glasgow area. A good influence on and off the field who is well-liked by the fans at every team he has turned out for.

Striker: Doug Somner
Somner scored over sixty goals in quite a weak Thistle side - the most of any player other than McParland in the modern era - and with the service he'll get from the three behind him he'll score a hatfull. Good with either foot and with his head.

Substitute Bench: Kenny Arthur to keep Roughie on his toes and under 120 kilos, Brian Whittaker to provide support across the backline, Ronnie Glavin can take on the Rowson role with a nice blend of skill and steel, Dennis McQuade will come on for Houston to terrorise the opposition for the last twenty minutes and Davie McParland can come on for Britton or Somner in case it's not working out up front.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Donald "Marc Corcoran" Balatoni's All Time Thistle XI

The final instalment of the Jagscaster's All Time XI's.

Following on from the other Jagscaster's teams, I've decided to let my heart rule the head with my XI in the hope of producing something a little different. Given that I don't really remember much before the experiment of Derek Whyte and King Juan Carlos (not that there has been many memorable players since!) it has been a little tricky coming up with something new.

Anyway, here goes my XI:

Keeper: The King – Kenny Arthur
My fist ever footballing hero. When I was growing up I had decided that I wanted to play in goals. I've never been sure if this was due to my chronic lack of ability or due to the amount of respect I had, even as a youngster, for Mr Arthur. He saw off every challenger for his position and always came back stronger. Also gets bonus points for his loyalty – having been with us in every division and even gaining international recognition during his stay.

Right Back: Jean-Yves Anis
While it's rumoured that Paton thinks his talents warrants a place in a SPL team, one man who did play there for us was Jean-Yves Anis. Not always the greatest but seemed to get up and down the flank reasonably well and even though it's probably not the done thing to include a defender who suffered successive relegations I'm going for it anyway.

Honourable mention for Billy Gibson – who again wasn't the best at RB but at least always tried.

Left Back: Boab – Scott McCulloch
This was a hard position for me as we have had over the past few seasons left backs who I feel have been fairly similar – at least told to play that anyway. Due to my Centre Back pairing I'll need 'Boab' to cover and also to take a free kick. Possibly the hardest left foot I've seen in the flesh, I'm sure he's still out of puff after that lung busting run to score against Raith at Firhill. One of his 10 (apparently) goals.

Right Centre Back – Steven Craigan
Still plying his trade at the highest level in Scottish football, approaching the 'David Weir' stage of his career and doesn't look like slowing down – despite recently announcing his retirement from the International stage. What can we say about a man who totally turned his career around from joining us after being released from Motherwell to a player, 100 odd games later we couldn't afford to re-sign, such was the transformation.

Left Centre Back – Shaggy – Scott Patterson
Makes Pique look like Sandy Hodge.

Right Mid – Quinton Jacobs
A man who the great Lambini told us "Has too much quality for Partick Thistle. "This boy will play at the highest level, in the Premier League - no danger." A man who almost signed for Manchester United before joining us to score direct from a corner (I've only seen it happen live twice) had quite a distinctive running style it seems that playing out of position didn't seem to hinder his ability. If he'll play Left mid in real life, he can play Right mid for me.

Left Mid – The Bridge/Squiddy/Big Bird – Chris Erskine
While I almost went for Derek Fleming here (would have been my choice if playing a 5-3-2) , it's Erskine's ability to do the unexpected that sets him apart from the usual lack of invention and flair that we see in Scottish football. I remain convinced that while things don't always go to plan for Chris, it would be equally as boring if he did manage to skin the opposing 11 players every week.

Defensive Mid – David Rowson
Despite his advancing ages, he just seems to get better and better. Always running himself ragged for the team, he plays an important role in the team for his sheer determination and hard work. Also got a bit of a shot on him. Needed in the team as I doubt Erskine or Jacobs will be doing much defending.

Attacking Mid – Glorious Gary Harkins
Agent Harkins is half-way through his mission. Removing Dundee as a thread (though a season late ) and now doing his best with Killie, he was rather bizarrely been signed as a centre back, one game marking Graeme Dorrans at RB, before being moved forward into Central Mid/Left wing once his fitness was up to scratch. The rest they say, is history.

Striker – Mark Roberts
Simply put, where would we be without his goals? I still find it strange that Roberts never really managed to play at a higher level as his skill on the ball, movement off it and finishing ability really stood him out from some of the other 'strikers' we've had over the years.

Striker – Juan Ramon Escales
Despite only being with us for one season (due to various personal problems) I always felt that he could have been the 'target-man' that we as a team have been crying out for ever since the Gerry hung up his boots. A good touch and decent pace, was always composed when it to the crunch.

Of course this is not the best XI I could have had (yes, I'm just going to ignore the point of this series of articles) but I reckon this is a more representative XI of over the past decade or so and a reminder that I'm clearly the optimist of the Jagscast team.

Friday, 11 November 2011

VBL's All Time Thistle XI

This has been tough. Really tough. I wrote down a shortlist of players for each position and ended up with nearly 30 instead of 11.

I have selected a team that is not only full of excellent individuals, but I’ve tried to pick players who I think would play well with each other.

As everyone else has pointed out, we have been blessed with some cracking goalkeepers over the past two decades, making this selection one of the most difficult. I’ve opted for Kenny Arthur on the basis of his excellent shot stopping and incredible bounebackability. Kenny played around 250 games for Thistle over his 10 years, which suggests that he was out of the team for about 10 games every season. Many came and tried to displace Kenny (David Klein, Garry Gow, Michael Brown and Bud to name a few) but only Jonny Tuffey succeeded. He was part of the double winning team, and it was his penalty save against Saint Mirren that was vital in the First Division winning season.

Left Wing Back:
I need a wing back who is going to terrorise the opposition’s right back and, given the formation, needs to have a good enough engine to get up and down the touchline for the whole game. I considered a young Archie for this position, but he was too gallus. Jered Stirling and David McCallum both had lovely left feet, but not the required stamina. Marc Twaddle fits the bill. His pace was electric when he was on top form and he linked up well with the midfield, particularly Gary Harkins. He was also fond of having a go at the linesman, which often gave him some protection from opposition players. He was able to get away with flying into tackles and was awarded some dubious free kicks.

Right Wing Back:
James “Banjo” McKinstry was a cool, laid back player. A sharp contrast to Twaddle on the other flank. He will be allowed to go forward in this formation, and will receive sufficient cover in defence which is his main weakness. He was a classic Lambie signing. Lambie had Banjo playing above himself week in, week out and it’s for his performances in the early part of the First Division winning season that he finds himself in this team. He also scored an absolute peach against Clyde at Firhill, one of my favourite ever goals.

Left Centre Back:
Paul Deas was a standout performer in 2002, and he is unlucky not to be in this squad. I considered playing John Robertson here, even although he would be slightly out of position. I really need a left footer though, as Twaddle will be further up the park for the most part and will be unable to protect the back 3. I have gone for the current club captain, Alan Archibald. Although all of his pace is gone now, Archie was a cracking centre back for us a couple of seasons ago and that’s why he’s made the team. No nonsense defending, which can be frustrating but I think we need someone in the team who can put the likes of Nacho Novo up in the air and can find Row Z when need be. Archie is our man.

Right Centre Back:
Stephen Craigan is still one of the best readers of the game in Scotland. I have absolutely no doubt that his transition into football journalism will be seamless as he can analyse a game and be two steps ahead of the opposition. It’s hard to remember a Thistle player who, when he put his foot on the ball, reassured the Rellow Army as much as he did. He could be a hard man when he needed to be, like Archie, but his classy distribution sets him apart from his partner on the left side of defence.

Centre Back:
Only one man could fill this position. Archie and Craigan will ensure that this man will have all the protection he requires to play his game. Imagine two blockers in an American Football game protecting their quarterback, their playmaker. Their Scott Paterson. Had it not been for Shaggy’s injuries, I have no doubt that he would have played at the highest level and would have represented his country. He oozed class, always had a calm head and could maraud forward at ease before splitting the midfield with a measured pass. Yes, a bit of a luxury, but when he takes the ball forward I expect Twaddle or Banjo to drop back.

Left Midfield:
He might have written one of the worst books I have ever read, but Chic Charnley was a bit good at football. How this man never got a call-up, I will never know. Gary MacKenzie???!?!? Sigh. Anyway. I don’t think I need to go into too much detail as everyone knows about Chic. An incredible left foot. He’s in the team to link up with Twaddle and occasionally swing a cross in from deep. He will also be asked to switch play from left to right and hang back when the team is attacking to pick up the pieces.

Central Midfield:
The most difficult position to fill. There are a number of top drawer players knocking on my door to play here. I’ve went for Danny Lennon. Captain Fantastic. This guy could read the game as though it was a graphic novel. He can collect the ball from the defence and spray passes to the wingbacks. He will also be responsible for pointing a lot.

Right Midfield:
Because Chico will be sitting back during attacks, I need my midfielder on the other side of the pitch to be someone who could join in the attack. Someone who could drive on from deep and offer an aerial option from Charnley’s freekicks. Big. Mad. Mental. Martin Hardie. Scored an incredible amount of goals for a midfielder and is still one of my favourite players ever. His tenacity and aggression was matched by his passing and finishing. Not the most elegant of players, but he will give me his all in every single game. He knows how to celebrate a goal, too.

When Gerry Britton was on top form, he was the best and most unpredictable striker in the league. He is gangly, tall and very difficult to play against. I’ll be looking for Gerry to have his back to goal, slip the ball to the wing backs and get on the end of crosses. He is capable of some classy finishing, as well as some excellent link up play.

McLean was an excellent partner for Gerry in 01/02, but so was Paul Walker. However, I would have really enjoyed seeing Mark Roberts team up with Gerry. I run the risk of having my two front men being too similar, so if it’s not working, I’ll turn to my bench after 60 minutes. I have to have him in there for the season that he was a one man team. Great scoring record, and a potential partner in crime for Hardie.

Jonny Tuffey just misses out because he left too soon. I’m sure he realises what a big mistake he’s made. Hasn’t played nearly enough for Caley or Northern Ireland since he left Firhill. A great player, but he let us and himself down.

Scott “Boab” McCulloch was a cult hero. A solid, tough tackling defender and an absolute workhorse going forward. He hasn’t made it into the First XI purely because he doesn’t have the stamina to commit to a full 90 minutes in the 5-3-2 formation. I have a feeling we’ll be needing his rocket shot late on in a game too. If a team gave away a free kick within 30 yards of goal against us with Boab, it was like giving away a penalty.

Gary Harkins provides excellent back up for Martin Hardie and Charnley. I’m less keen on him replacing Lennon as he’s not that kind of player. I’d rather have Shaggy in there if I were to mix it up a bit.

James Grady would come on for Gerry Britton for the last 20 minutes. He’d get us a goal, nae danger.

David Rowson has to be in the squad somewhere. We might need to strengthen the midfield if the game is a bit tight in the last quarter of the game. His engine would see us over the line.

Cowie's All Time Thistle XI

I've only really been able to get along to Thistle games with any degree of regularity since Ian McCall became manager, so my team might be a little impoverished on the nostalgia stakes. Separating the "quite good"
from the "mediocre" isn't terribly easy!

*Goalkeeper: Jonathan Tuffey*

I only saw Kenny Arthur play a handful of times in a Thistle jersey, so this was really between Tuffey and Fox (sorry Hinchy!). I think Tuffey edges it as he was capable of some ridiculously good performances, even if his occasionally eccentric blunders cost us. One of the few players in recent years you really feel was playing for the shirt.

*Right-back: Paul Paton*

This one goes to Paton almost by default. If it weren't for the need of John Robertson at centre-back I'd have him in there. Before his legs went (and to a considerable extent, even after they'd gone!) I always thought that John Robertson was light years ahead of Paton in terms of executing the role of a right-back. Was disappointed when he moved on.

*Left-back: Marc Twaddle*

This one was reasonably straightforward. The only issue with Twaddle was his application. Boyle runs him close but for quite literally being head and shoulders above Paddy the titch, I think Twaddle edges it.
Unfortunately I never saw Archie when he was at his best at left back, albeit he did a turn or two a couple of seasons back.

*Right-centre-back: John Robertson*

Solid in defence, perhaps not especially adventurous, but a reliable seasoned-pro. Best moment probably his looping over-head kick that had Alan Main unstuck against St Johnstone. Bonus points for playing through the vomit barrier against Inverness a season and a half ago.

*Left-centre-back: Ian Maxwell*

I know this one will raise a few eyebrows, but before his injury around the winter the season he came to us, I thought he was better than Archibald. He read the game well with John Robertson in a way I never got the feeling Archibald did for a centre-back pairing. A true gent who could have done a better turn for us if we'd come across him even a couple of years earlier.

*Centre Midfield: David Rowson*

I used to watch David Rowson when he was a young upstart in the Aberdeen team. His phenomenal work-rate, bullet shot and authoritative finger pointing genuinely makes me wonder why he isn't Thistle captain. He's made for the job. If anyone was in any doubt as to just how much I love David Rowson, ask VBL and Donald Mark Corcoran Balatoni how I responded when he scored against Falkirk a few weeks back.

The crossbar at Broadwood is STILL shaking.

*Left-centre-midfield: Gary Harkins*

The bald one's shimmies, blatant dives and game-changing qualities brought us as close to title glory as we're likely to get for some time.
For me, though, the day Harkins first impressed me was in a Cup replay against Livingston. Simon Storey had been given the run-round at right-back by Graham Dorrans and was subbed, only for John Robertson to pick up an injury minutes later. Harkins was shifted to auxiliary right back and was rock solid. It's funny to think he was signed as a central defender and now plies his trade often as the deeper of two forwards for Killie (having also done so for Dundee). Still haven't forgiven him for joining the cheats but hard to deny that he was anything other than one of the best players we've had.

*Right-centre-midfield: Martin Hardie*

Alas I only saw the Big Mad Mental One on his brief return to Thistle on loan, but in terms of a team having a wee bit of missing psycho about it, Hardie finds it. Time and time again he's dragged teams from the cesspit to First Division glory. In terms of physical presence, brute determination and true footballing intelligence, he ticks all the boxes.

*Centre-Forward: Mark Roberts*

Goals. Lots of them. The last genuine striker to have donned a red and yellow shirt. He single-handedly dragged us up from the 2^nd and his goals the following season pretty much single-handedly kept us in the 1^st . Sadly his legs have gone, but he still shows the occasional moment of brilliance for Ayr and most Thistle fans will have fond memories of the Hoor.

*Left-Wing: Chris Erskine*

He knows no fear. He knows no danger. He knows... nothing. But neither does anyone who tries to mark him! Erskine makes watching football fun.
Brilliance to horror-show. Bizarre to the ridiculous. Erskine for Scotland!

*Right-Wing: Stephen O'Donnell*

Possibly a premature inclusion, but I don't care. I've been massively
impressed by O'Donnell since he signed up. You might think it a little
odd that I've chosen to include him as a right-winger especially given
he was signed to give Paton competition, but he's proved versatile
virtually anywhere along the right flank, is impressively quick and
generally doesn't muck about. An important counterbalance to the
temperamental Erskine.

Special Substitute:

*Simon Donnelly*
Just because it will annoy half the Thistle support and delight the
other half.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Craig Walker's All Time Thistle XI

When I was asked to name my all time Jags XI I immediately went for:
1. Hodge,
2. Hodge,
3. Hodge,
4. Hodge,
5. Hodge,
6. Hodge,
7. Hodge,
8. Hodge,
9. Hodge,
10. Hodge,
11. Hodge

Then I remembered that dream had turned into a bit of a nightmare so I had a wee think about it and it's not as easy as it first seems.

The names in my team should give away my youthfulness a little, while there will probably be others that should have made it from the start of my Thistle supporting career, I’ve went for those who stick in my mind the most. I've went for a continental 3-4-3 formation.

Kenny Arthur - We have had our fair share of good keepers over the
last 20years or so (and a fair few rotten ones too) but Kenny done it
more regularly and for longer than any of the others. He showed strong
loyalty to the club and deserves his place in my best XI

Alan Archibald (C) - Over 200 games for the club speaks for itself. Despite his short spell at Dundee United Archie has been an important member of the Thistle defence for over ten seasons.

Scott Paterson - Shaggy was just outstanding while he was at Firhill. No nonsense defending with an air of calm and coolness like no one else.

Greg Watson - My team was starting to look too much like the league winning side so went for Watson over Craigan.

Chic Charnley - Don't think this one really need's explained. Chic was both entertaining and a good player. Deserved his Scotland cap that never came.

Gary Harkins - As soon as he moved from defence to midfield he lit up Firhill. Probably the most entertaining player I have seen in a Thistle jersey.

Danny Lennon - Not many players can say they are a Thistle double league winning captain but Lennon managed it and he led the team well with some fantastic performances.

Andy Lyons - The first player I ever got on the back of my Thistle top and had the pleasure of playing in the same team as him on the Firhill pitch.

Mark Roberts - His scoring record at Firhill speaks for itself. Without Mark Roberts the Dick Campbell years could have been much, much worse.

Liam Buchanan - His goals to games ratio was outstanding and could have scored even more if it wasn't for his injury problems.

Alan Morgan - May be a strange one to some people but I'm of the
opinion that if it wasn't for his injury Morgan could have gone all
the way in Football. Was Excellent for the short while he was in the
red and yellow

Subs: Gerry Britton, Stephen Craigan, Albert Craig, Ian Cameron.
Nicky Walker

Craig Walker runs the excellent Harry Wraggs site:

Macky's All Time Thistle XI

Before the match on Saturday myself and fellow Jagscaster, Vincent Black Lightening, were deep in discussion about the current squad we have at the club and trying to compare it with the title winning side of 2001/02. We were trying to put both squads together and come up with the best 11 but could not decide on the 11 during the small time we had before kick off. On leaving the game on Saturday and trying to show that I was interested in the firework display I was attending that I decided to try and come up with what my favourite Thistle 11 would be only including players I have seen put on the famous red and yellow jersey.

As I have said before I started watching the Harry Wraggs in 1989 so I have seen plenty of players in that time, some great and heroes of mine with some good players and plenty of not so good but the less I mention them the better. A lot of thought has gone into this team and on several occasions I thought I had it ready and finished only to have another player come into my mind and it was back to square one. So here is my team, I have picked a 4-4-2 formation and 5 substitutions and have given my reasons for picking. Some will not agree with my selections but trust me it’s hard to pick my favourite 11 and I urge you to give it a go. I welcome some feedback.

Craig Nelson - Nelson started his career with Partick Thistle and was with us for 4 years before moving onto Hearts, as well as several other clubs and is still currently playing with Second Division side Brechin City at the ripe old age of 40.

Craig Nelson has been my favourite goalie I've seen in a Thistle jersey. In my opinion he was a complete keeper, good shot stopper, and great at coming from crosses and was very reliable. I believe that if he had stayed with us he could have been an even greater fans' favourite but in the 4 years he was with us I was certainly a fan of his. Nelson made over 90 appearances for Thistle.

Left Back
Alan Archibald - Archie is a hero of mine and also very popular among the Thistle faithful, when I was growing up I played at left back or at the left side of the centre of defence the same as Archie so I used to go to games and watch him closely. Archie is a very reliable and solid defender who was also great at getting up and down the flank supplying the forwards with crosses. I have to admit I once nearly celebrated a Dundee United goal, it was in the Scottish Cup Final against Celtic and the ball broke to Archie who struck a great right foot shoot which unfortunately came back off the crossbar, if it was any other player I wouldn’t have reacted like I did but because it was our current club captain and a player who has given over 10 years of his life to Thistle. I think most Thistle fans would have done the same. Archie has played in over 430 games in is career so far.

Centre back
Gordon Rae - Over the years I’ve seen numerous centre backs at Firhill but none in my opinion have been as hard as my first pick. The fans song for him said it all "He's fat, he's round, he's worth a million pound - Gordon Rae". He had played most of his career with his local side Hibs and joined Thistle in 1990 and was part of the promotion winning side of 1991/92 season. Mr. Rae alongside a fellow member of my team was my first thistle hero just for his no nonsense approach to defending. Rae played over 70 games for Thistle and over 450 in his career.

My choice for partnering Rae in defence was a tough one. I had already got my tough defender so I was looking for someone with composure and who was great with the ball at his feet. I narrowed it down to 2 players who's careers where both affected by injury.

Scott Paterson was at Thistle for just 2 seasons but in those 2 seasons the fans were treated to some of the calmest defending and some of the most elegant passing I have ever seen from a football player in my lifetime. Shaggy, as he was known, had his career dogged by injury but his two years at Thistle were very successful: winning the 1st Division Championship in his first year and helping Thistle secure SPL survival. Shaggy scored 2 goals for thistle they were outstanding in quality and very important. He scored a beautiful curling effort to equalise in the Scottish Cup Quarter Final at Firhill against Caley Thistle. The second was the winning goal in the replay of the same match in the pouring rain and strong winds. It was a 30 yard screaming free kick into the top corner. Shaggy made over 60 appearances for thistle.

Although Stephen Craigan is not really a right back I couldn’t keep him out of my team, he was part of our side which won 2 titles in a row and also helped us survive in our first season back in the SPL. Craigan wasn't the most gifted player with the ball at his feet but was great in the air and was our most consistent defender and I will always remember his celebration when scoring his first goal for the jags, it was last game of the season against Stenhousemuir and when he headed the ball into the net he went mad and ripped his top and only for the ref to book him for it. Craigan played over 100 games for Thistle and has also played over 50 times for Northern Ireland.

On the left I think there is only one player I could have chosen and I think every Jags fan would have him in their team,

Chic Charnley is the possibly the most gifted and talented player I have seen in a Thistle jersey, a player who had his ups and downs and was never far from trouble during his career which seen him sign for the Jags on 4 separate occasions. Chico, as we called him, had the best left foot I’ve seen (except from my own) and could ping passes all over the park with precision and the goals he scored were never tap ins, summed up by his goal in Kenny Arthur’s testimonial with a shot from 30 yards into the top corner - he had stopped playing a few years earlier. I also remember a friendly a couple years back when Chico took to the pitch at half time for a charity and had to hit the crossbar from the halfway line and yes, he did it with the class he had as a player.
Chic played over 100 times for the mighty Jags.

In the centre of midfield I have went for two players who fought for every ball and worked for the full 90 minutes from box to box and one of them still plays today.

At the current age of 35 David Rowson is still one of the first names that are put down on the Thistle team sheet. He works tirelessly for the full 90 minutes every game for the club. He is a box to box midfielder who displays a great range of passing and is very good at breaking down opposition attacks. Every time Rowser scores a goal they seem to get better and better with quality. What sums up Rowson’s commitment to the club and the respect his fellow players and fans have for him was last game of the season 2010/11, Rowson's father had passed away and it would have been easy for him to miss the game but no, he wanted to play and ended the match with scoring an absolute screamer which would have Andy Gray quoting his now famous saying " take a bow son". The players ran to celebrate with him and the fans went mad in the stands as if we had just won a trophy. Rowson has played over 275 games for Thistle.

Danny Lennon was an instrumental part of the 2 in a row title winning teams and was a classy midfielder during his career, he worked hard in the midfield and was never shy in a tackle and could also play at bit as well. Lennon is highly thought of at Thistle and has recently been announced that he will be inducted into the club’s Hall of Fame. It’s not only at Thistle that he is remembered well, he was the Raith Rovers player who scored to put them 1-0 up at half time away to Bayern Munich. Lennon played over 100 games for thistle.

On the right I have chosen a midfielder that could play just about anywhere for Thistle and a player who we could call upon to score a vital goal when required.

Martin Hardie was a versatile player who played in possibly every attacking position for Thistle and even had a spell as a supersub. He was a player who was great in the air and was great with the ball at his feet and boy, did he know where the goal was. Big Mad Mental Martin Hardie, as he was renamed during his time with the club, was only a part time player when he joined the club but was never lacking in fitness and was a totally committed player. I don’t think there would be many fans teams that wouldn’t have Hardie in it as is such the impact he made in his time with the club. Hardie made over 100 appearances for the club.


By bringing Mark Roberts to the club it is possibly the only thing Dick Campbell did well at the club during his tenure as manager. Roberts, in my opinion, is the reason we got promoted that season (apart from a huge slice of luck) through the playoffs as he scored 22 goals and a two memorable Scottish Cup goals; a last minute penalty against Caley Thistle and a solo effort away to Hearts. I also believe that Mark Roberts should still be a Thistle player and Mr. McCall should never have let him go as is being proved this season as he is currently our division rivals Ayr United’s club captain and top scorer. Mark Roberts was at Thistle for 4 years making over 100 appearances and scoring over 45 goals.

At the time of Colin McGlashan's signing for thistle I had not long been going to games and we had just signed him from Clyde FC, our old rivals and he was from then on branded a Judas by the Gypsy Army which I believe made him an instant hero to Jags fans. He was my first hero when I was a kid. When you start going to games you always love the goalscorers and McGlashan was one. He was part of the Thistle squad that won promotion in 1991/92 season. Colin was not the tallest player but his stocky build made it hard for defenders to play against him. Colin played over 100 times for Thistle and scored over 200 goals in his career.

So there you have it my choice of the greatest Thistle 11 that I have had the privilege of watching pull on the famous red and yellow top of my beloved club Partick Thistle FC. There will always be different opinions from fellow supporters and loads of disagreement with what is the greatest Thistle side ever, so I say give it a try and pick out your side and share it with us.

P.S. - just for good measure here are the 5 subs I would have on the bench:
Scott fox, Jim Duffy, Scott McLean, Graham Dorrans and Quinton Jacobs.


You can read Macky's personal blog at

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Manly J Panda's All Time Thistle XI

The Panda has chosen his all-time XI of Partick Thistle players that he has seen playing these last 25 years. Shocks include: no Robbo, no Adam Strachan and NO CHRIS ERSKINE. Will VBL forgive him?

Goalkeeper: Johnny Tuffey

I am a little surprised to be valuing Tuffey ahead of boyhood heroes such as John Brough, Andy Murdoch and Craig Nelson, and ahead of the legend that is Kenny Arthur (of KA Goalkeeping Gloves, kids), but the fact of the matter is that Tuffey is our best goalie since Alan Rough. He played 110 games for Thistle, made his international debut while playing for us and greeted when he left. That’ll do me.

Right Back: Alan Dinnie

It used to always say in the program “orthodox right back”, and while this was obviously a ploy to wind up Coptic left-wingers, Dinnie was a stout defender. He didn’t get up the pitch much, but in our formation, I want him to stay put and keep a clean sheet. Top quality Thistle defender.

Centre Back: Stephen Craigan

A world-class football brain in a SFL-class football body, Craigan is still a very good defender and an ongoing testament to John Lambie’s coaching abilities. He came to us after being dropped by Motherwell and left us a different player, a future captain of club and country. Memories of his being the last regular outfield player to score in the Second Division promotion season in the final game will warm the hearts of any Thistle fan.

Centre Back: Gordon Rae

Unfit, slow and yet rarely beaten in the air or on the ground, Rae was an old-school reader of the game and one of the protagonists in the legendary “samurai sword” incident. If we were struggling, he would go up front and win headers all day long. He also often took the ball off the goalkeeper to start attacks, the sort of thing that blew minds in the First Division in 1990. And now Pique’s doing the same thing in Spain. Copycat.

Left Back: Alan Archibald.

Archibald, Archibald, flying down the wing. Archibald, Archibald, can you here us sing? Who’s number three? What is he called? Archibald, Archibald, Archibald. That is all.

Defensive Midfield: Scott Paterson

Now, wait a minute, I know he rarely played here, preferred at sweeper or centre back, but this is where he’s going to make an impact today. He’s comfortable with the ball at his feet, able to fill in across the back line, can pick a pass… He’s going to anchor the midfield so I can pick another three creative geniuses and still let Archie fly forward. Shaggy for Scotland.

Centre Midfield: Gary Harkins

I don’t want to talk about Gary Harkins. But he’s in the team. You know why.

Left Midfield: Chic Charnley

Did you know that Chic really really wanted to play for Celtic? No, Celtic Football Club, from Glasgow. In the East End? They play in green and white… Aye them. Apparently he supports them. And he coaches Clyde. James Callaghan Charnley is still the best left-sided Scottish footballer I have ever seen. And he once addressed me as “Big Man”.

Right Midfield: John Flood

Another, like Craigan and Rae, who arguably had his best years away from Firhill. Flood was an Airdrie man who joined in the 88-89 season, the year I started regularly coming to Firhill. He scored an amazing goal against, I think, Raith Rovers – though it might have been Dundee or Falkirk – and I was hooked on fitba and the Jags. He was a very attacking midfielder, but was a cracking crosser of the ball, and would sit out on the right for us.

False Nine: Gerry Britton LLB

Britton was never especially prolific, but set up more than he scored with intelligent play. He makes the team ahead of the likes of McGlashan – who never became Pelé – , Buchanan and Toastie Burns because of his double spell at the club, his Scottish Cup goal against Dundee, and the sneaking suspicion I have that we might need a lawyer at some point.

Striker: Gerry McCoy

Another early hero of mine, McCoy has the best goals-to-game ratio of any Thistle player since Joe McBride in the early sixties. In his second spell at Firhill – from 1988 to 1990, in the prime of his career – he scored 23 times in 42 appearances, and linked up beautifully with Flood, Charnley and Calum Campbell. Not a tall man, he used his positional skills to get on the end of crosses and beat keepers time and time again. Even though he apparently didn't get on with Lambie, he was still my first autograph as a Junior Jag, and if that's not a good enough to pick him, I don't know what is.

Substitutes Bench: Kenny Arthur, Liam Buchanan, Stevie Murray, Marc Twaddle, Bobby Law.

Kenny as back-up, Liam to offer some searing pace after 75 minutes, Stevie Murray to entertain us at half-time with his tricks, Marc as cover for Rae or to replace a tiring Archie, Bobby Law because… it’s Bobby Law, alright? He’s earned it.

Monday, 7 November 2011

One Team in Glasgow

Ruairidh MacLennan was given the task of writing about his favourite Thistle game. Although he was limited in terms of the amount of memorable victories, given his age, he has managed to come up with a cracker.

Needless to say, Thistle’s fans, like all others, turn up in fine form when the occasion demands it. That said, not all of my favourite Jags games have been on the big occasions. Of course, we all remember our heroic cup efforts against Rangers just three or four years ago, but there have been many more games when I have left the game proud, not just as a result of the team’s efforts that particular day, but of what it is to be a Thistle fan. Without further ado, we go down (recent) memory lane.

Not yet being a veteran of the Thistle psyche, my first noteworthy away game was a Scottish Cup Tie against Inverness Caledonian Thistle in the Highland Capital. With the exception of the trek up the A9, it promised to be a good day. I recall a sense of optimism within the ranks as match-day approached. Despite a very underwhelming season thus far, nostalgia shone through, as memories of another cup clash with the Highlanders came to the fore. I was of course intrigued: I wished to be a part of Thistle’s next cup upset, just hearing stories is never enough it seems! It was of course an early start, but having endured away trips to Peterhead, things had been worse! Nonetheless, my father and I made our way up the, for want of a better word, bland A9, stopping off at Pitlochry on the way. We arrived in Inverness around an hour or two before kick-off, but if I tell the truth, I was counting down the minutes. Being too young for a pre-match pint or such, the alternative consisted of trekking around a cold city-centre in red and yellow. Mind you, living in Glasgow means regular funny looks from blue-scarf wearing youths anyway!

At long last, 3pm arrived. The opening period is a bit of a blur, but I clearly remember Scott McCulloch lining up a free-kick at the opposite goal. There was a buzz, a very bizarre, but completely understandable sense of anticipation, as there always was when McCulloch and set-pieces were involved. The ball was thumped goal-ward and Mark Roberts got a touch to send us meagre lower-leaguers in front against the “big-timers”. Of course, as happened so often that season, some embarrassingly shoddy defending allowed Inverness to level and then take the lead. All seemed lost: the better, wealthier, bigger club had won. Some had made their way to the exit when, out of nothing, Thistle found themselves in the box and the referee pointed to the spot. While the precise details of the award have long since disappeared into neural purgatory, the resulting goal is a treasured memory. Delirium broke out in the stand when Mark Roberts made it count. That piece of luck provided Thistle with a televised reply, bringing with it some much needed financial relief. However, never being good at maths, I attached more significance to what the team did that day than what Messrs Cowan and Hughes thought would be an appropriate way to spend said money. The fans left the ground happy. I left the ground, feeling for the first time, that my team had its moments, just as the Old Firm have theirs. The difference was, however, my Thistle moment didn’t come with feelings of victory over some left-field Royal/Vatican/Masonic/insert as appropriate plot as I always heard from my class-mates following a league victory or Old Firm triumph. Since that day, and that season in fact, I have viewed supporting as a clean business. I was astounded that it took so long after my first Jags game to have something significant to be proud of, but that was a very dark patch in Thistle-lore it has to be said. Nonetheless, I hope that such a victory will be recorded more often in the future, to give the youngsters amongst our number every reason to stick with us. It is important to remember that one game, one moment, can make all the difference in a youngster’s mind when it comes to football.

I find myself continuing after what seems like a logical point to conclude, but I just can’t without mentioning one fair evening at Ibrox when we were all vindicated. Honestly said, I have never been so hoarse the next morning, nor have I walked with such a swagger. It had been a fair old while since we had locked horns with the neighbours, hence the massive build-up to the occasion. I used delirium to describe Marko’s penalty at Inverness, leaving me short of a word for Damon Gray’s placed shot in front of the travelling fans. That wouldn’t do it justice anyway! That’s a nice thought to finish on. Remember, no matter how dark it gets, how up the creek the situation seems, we’ll get by and have our moments.

One team in Glasgow!

Ruairidh MacLennan

Sunday, 6 November 2011

A Cheeky Little Grope

The Jagscasters are joined by tactical genius John A. Maxwell of to discuss the brilliance of Chris Erskine, how to win the league and the best way to intimidate a referee.

You can also expect to hear regular features such as Cowie's Call and knee jerk reactions to the game against Ross County at Firhill.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Life as a Jag

Our very own Macky tells all in this article about his journey from a "mixed family" to becoming a full blown Jags fan.

At 29 years old I've seen a lot of Scottish football and supporting Partick Thistle for just about all of my life has helped me. I was born in Rutherglen maternity and lived in Cambuslang for 2 years until my younger brother came along and we moved to a bigger house in Lenzie. It was here my love affair with football started. I was given my first football kit from my gran. It was a white top with yellow hoops and it's still my favourite Scotland top. I used to wear it all the time.

When I was about 6 my family moved to Duntocher in Clydebank. All of my mum's side of the family came from there and I still live there to this day.

September 23rd 1989 was the date I first experienced the Staduim of Dreams, Firhill. It was a match against Airdrie with goals from Alex kennedy and John flood securing a 2-1 Thistle victory in front of a crowd of 5301. From then on I was hooked and every home game me and my old man would sit in the Main Stand just along from the dugouts so I could have a perfect view of the Shed in its glory (those were the days). My dad grew up in Maryhill and was a Thistle/Rangers fan. He would watch Thistle if they were at home and go to Ibrox if Thistle were away. Basically he just had a dislike for Celtic - something that is still strong today. After the games, especially if we won, I couldn't wait to get to school and tell all of my classmates about how great my team was. I took pride that I was the only Jags fan at my school. Like 90% of my family, my school was full of Celtic fans.

For the next few years, my dad and I would go to Firhill every second Saturday. We would start with going to my grans for lunch (just up behind Harveys bar) and would leave my younger brother and sister there so we could go to the game. It was our ritual. We did occasionally go to away games but only if they were close by.

My worst away experience came in (I think) May 1991. It was the last game of the season: away to Clydebank at Kilbowie Park, which is now a Aldi, Gala bingo and McDonalds. Being a local boy my dad had said I could bring some of my friends to the game and as I was always banging on about how great we were I thought "Brilliant! They can see for themselves how great Thistle are!" My brother had also started to come to some games but I'm pretty sure he hadnt seen us win and I told him that today was the day. As most of us know, and want to forget, we got gubbed 7-1 and for the next few months my friends never let me forgot. Plus, I also blamed my brother who I called a jinx and said he wasn't to come along again. It worked pretty well as he never came to a game the following season and we got promoted!

For the next 5 seasons I wasn't at Thistle games much as, like most kids my age, I was trying to carve out a career in football for myself so I was playing on Saturday afternoons. Me and my dad did make midweek games and the odd saturday game if my match wasnt on. There was some great memories during those seasons and I was present at a few of them but these ones stick out:

Partick Thistle 3 Rangers 0

Partick Thistle 3 Celtic 1 (at Hampden)

Partick Thistle: Tennants Sixes Champions

I missed the famous win at Parkhead with Georgie Shaw scoring 2 goals but have seen it on youtube and heard countless tales from people that were there.

As I got older, I started to drift away from following Thistle, mainly because I was playing football but also all my friends started to go to watch celtic and if they had a spare ticket it was me who got asked and I tagged along.

It was when the Save the Jags campaign started that I realised I was still a Jags fan. I remember going into my local paper shop every so often and buying the pullout they had made for Save the Jags. I wanted to go back to Firhill but still found myself going to Celtic Park most Saturdays as my dad was working and I didn't want to go myself and someone always had a spare ticket for the Celtic game.

It was about July 1999. I had now left school and was working full time doing an electrical apprenticeship. On my first day I remember I was introduced to all my fellow staff and then it came those F*****G questions we always get asked:

Q 1 . What team do you support?

A 1 . Partick Thistle.

Q 2 . What Old Firm team do you like?

A 2 . None. Hate them both. FTOF.

Q 3 . Are you a Catholic or a Proddy?

A 3 . Neither.

For some reason that day I said I was a Partick Thistle fan, but I hadn't been to Firhill for nearly 4 years and I was attending Celtic games more often. I looked back on that day as the day my life turned around. I was going back to where I belong - Firhill.

It was September 1999, just short of my 17th birthday when my long awaited return happened. The game was against Ross County. We got beat 2-0 and although we were now bottom of the Second Division, I couldn't have been happier to be back. My old man was with me and it brought back great memories for the two of us. It was here I bumped into a friend (Jamie) and his dad who I hadn't seen in years. We met up for the next few home games and decided to go on an away trip without our dads. It was to be Queen of the South away and we won 2-1. I think Derek Lyle scored the winner and it lifted us off the bottom of the league. This is the game that I reckon was the turn around and after this match it was only upwards for the next few years.

Jamie and I never missed a game for the next few seasons and watched with joy as we won 2 league titles in a row and got back into the SPL. There were some highs and some lows ad after 2 seasons in the SPL, we got relegated and were back in the First Division and thinking it’ll be one year in this league or 2 at the most. We were right! 1 year is all it took but it was the wrong way. Relegated back to the second division...

The second division campaign was a terrible one and I'm still at a loss as to how we got promoted. I think we finished the campaign some 30 points behind 2nd place Morton but that is the luck of the playoffs.

The last game was the playoff final 2nd leg which was on a Sunday up in Peterhead. I had been on a night out on the Saturday and had had a couple of hours sleep before it was time to catch the minibus up north. There was a fear about everbody that morning. The worry: will we do it? The fact peterhead were 2-1 up after the first leg and we hadn't been able to beat them all season it didn't look good. But we are Thistle we always do it the hard way.

Once we arrived in Peterhead I was, lets just say hungover from the night before, and very nervous. I went to a local bar for a curer or two. Once I realised the time, I made my way to the ground several minutes late on route I heard a cheer. I just presumed it was for the teams coming out, but it was Peterhead going 1-0 up! I got to the ground just as Mark Roberts was turning to tuck the ball away to score with me thinking we were 1-0 up! It wasn't until about 30 mins into the game that I found out it was actually 1-1 and not 1-0 to us! Gutted. Approaching the 90 minute mark, I kept saying to my friends that I was going back to the pub but for some reason I just couldn't leave and I'm glad I didn't. As Billy Gibson's free kick deflected into the net it was mayhem. I don't think we had celebrated a goal like that for years. I was fairly confident when it came to the penalty kicks as we had beaten SPL side Inverness earlier that season on pens. From the minute Paul Ritchie's penalty hit the back of the net it was party time with a full scale pitch invasion. The rest of the night is a blur to me which involved stopping off in Aberdeen for a few drinks and not getting home till the wee hours plus a sickie from work on the Monday.

Since then we have been in the First Division. This is by far the most competitive league in Scotland and possibly britian with 10 teams who are evenly matched. I haven’t been to as many games as I would have liked since then with working away from home and becoming a parent. My daughter will be 3 on November 11th and my fiancee is due to give birth on January 13th 2012 with our second child. They have now become the most important thing in my life but Partick thistle will always come a close second and I will be at as many matches as I can. My daughter (Rebecca) has already been to Firhill for a game and had the chance to watch me try and play on the Firhill turf during the Firhill Cup Funday. Hopefully some day my kids will be regulars at Firhill with me as I was with my dad.

Nothing beats waking up on a Saturday morning with the anticipation of the days game; wondering whether it will be a win or defeat or possibly even a draw (a feeling old firm fans will never know. Well, mabye Celtic fans on current form). The nervous feeling you get when walking up to the Jackie Husband Stand or the night before a big game when you can't sleep (like a kid at Christmas). All I hope for the future is that there will still be a Partick Thistle Football Club for me, my family and my friends - so many who I have met going up and down the country watching the Jags. Long may it continue.



Heroes of past

Colin McGlashan, Dave Elliot, Chic Charnley, Gordon Rae, Alan Archibald, Stephen Craigan, Martin Hardie, Danny Lennon, Gerry Britton, Geordie Shaw, Craig Nelson, John Lambie

Favorite matches of past:

Partick Th 2 Airdrie 1 (first match)

Partick Th 3 Rangers 0

Partick Th 3 Celtic 1 (at hampden)

Tennents Sixes win

Partick Th 0 Forfar 0

Partick Th 1 Celtic 0

Partick Th 2 Queen of the south 1

Inverness 0 Partick Th 1

Stirling 0 Partick Th 3

St Mirren 0 Partick Th 2

Aberdeen 0 Partick Th 1 (charnley came on near end to take the piss)

Rangers 1 Partick Th 1

Peterhead 1 Partick Th 2 (won on pens)

Celtic 1 Partick Th 1 (lost on pens)

Partick Th 3 Kilmarnock 0 (think alex burns scored a hat trick)

Partick Th 5 Morton 0 (friday night thriller)

Monday, 24 October 2011

Happy 50th!!!

VBL is joined by Mackie, Donald "Marc Corcoran" Balatoni, Cowie and THW's Craig Walker to discuss Thistle's poor away record, how to correctly celebrate a goal and the home game against Falkirk.

Just copy and paste this link if you are not a subscriber:


Friday, 21 October 2011

1971 - I Was There Part Three

We're just too nice here at the Jagscast!

You can now enjoy Part Three of our series of interviews about the 1971 League Cup Final. VBL chats to Bob Cassells about his memories of the big day.


Thursday, 20 October 2011

1971 - I Was There Part Two

Hello everyone.

Part Two of our series of interviews about the 1971 League Cup Final is now available for download.

If you haven't yet subscribed, then follow this link to access the file:

Hear VBL chat to John McNeill, a long suffering Thistle fan, about his memories of that fateful day.

Friday, 7 October 2011

1971 - I was there


As the 40th Anniversary of the 1971 League Cup win approaches, The Jagscast are looking to speak to fans who were there. VBL starts off this series of interviews by talking to his father, Davie Ferguson.

We want to hear all about people's thoughts and different experiences of the day. If you think you could help us out, then please get in touch at

The interview is now available. If you aren't a subscriber, follow this link:

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Heroes and Villains of the Unconventional Kind

Earlier this week, we brought you an excellent article written by David Hamilton. Today, as well as making the latest podcast available for download, we are delighted to introduce to you another of our writers: Ruairidh MacLennan.


People can be idolised in many different ways and for many different reasons in football; the striker who makes a habit of scoring late on, the keeper who will not be beaten, the rock-solid centre-half whose attitude is an example to all. We all had our footballing heroes as kids. Whether during dark times or better ones, kids need their idols on the pitch; someone they can identify with and feel close to despite not really knowing them at all! Likewise, we all had players we loved to hate. It was these sorts of links that helped me add a dash of yellow to my blood, so let me tell you about who my own “heroes” in the red and yellow were and why they helped me become a regular at the Firhill panto.

I was a relative latecomer to the footballing scene, attending my first ever Thistle game at the age of 12; a meaningless and low-key 2-0 home SPL win against Aberdeen. I was hooked however. The following season, I became a semi-regular with my also new to the Jags father. Alas, relegation came yet again. Something had to go right eventually I thought to myself, and thankfully mercy arrived the following season in the doldrums of Division 2. It is more or less at this point, that my Thistle journey really begins. The scene is as follows; Thistle trail 2-0 at home to Dumbarton in a game where 3 points were badly needed to start the campaign in a reasonable manner. Up steps the first of my Thistle heroes, Mark Roberts. Being too young to understand why many were unhappy at his signing with the team, my first ever memory of him was scoring twice to save me from a school-boy “banter” savaging in the cut-throat, Rangers dominated South of Glasgow. He became a hero in the space of a single football match. His non-stop heroics throughout the next few months were a real highlight in my fledgling tie to Thistle. I cherished the moment he scored a last-minute penalty in Inverness, his overhead-kick against Forfar and of course a bullet of a half-volley against my then idea of a school environment death sentence, Gretna Football Club. I know full well that Mr Roberts saved my skin from a horrific amount of stick at the hands of the Ugly sisters’ “fans”!

I also have fond memories of a player who was not at Thistle for a particularly long time, yet will be one of my favourites for much longer. I couldn’t believe the size of Scott McCulloch when he arrived at Firhill. It seemed so ridiculous that such a man could really claim to be an athlete. I learned from him however, that spirit is just as important as fitness and is a trait not valued enough amongst many. His never-say die approach was quite something to behold, not to mention a powerfully hit effort landing in the back of the net. On an altogether different note, I could have leaped for joy when he lifted Adam Strachan (whose attitude reminded me of some of my co-pupils) by the scruff of the neck during a bit of play-acting. The two men I wanted to hear on the team-sheet every week were very different players for Thistle, but nonetheless they are largely responsible for my getting any enjoyment from Dick Campbell’s catastrophic time at the helm.

I also loved to see other teams field certain players for rather different reasons. My own personal “villains” have become synonymous with a dark-blue team who have a habit of creeping away from the financial abyss. I remember Alex Rae well, from even earlier than his Dundee days might I add. His hatchet-man way of playing was something which, unsurprisingly, went down well with those of the Ibrox persuasion. He was idolised by some of my more “colourful” co-pupils, co-incidentally the same ones whose tackles would consist of a wild swing of the boot at the shins. A man of his kind was in every way a loathsome one, therefore it was much to my delight that he was sent-off on consecutive visits to Firhill. The panto-villain figures can bring the best lines from the Thistle support, further strengthening the feeling for the club and all it stands for.

My final character is none other than Dundee’s current manager, Barry Smith. While Scott McCulloch defied his questionable fitness to become a real favourite, Barry Smith managed to more than illustrate why he was as, for want of a better word, round as he was. His debut at Ross County in a Scottish Cup match is something which lives long in the memory. Rather unfortunately, Barry Smith had “Campbell” written all over him. To his credit however, Smith may well be the only one to have ever fully united the Thistle support. Never have I felt so much despair when a name was read out over the tannoy. His signing brought a sense of togetherness in the Thistle support in a rather perverse way.

I hope that in the years to come, other youngsters have a rich choice of Thistle heroes. They are the people who protect our young followers from that one ribbing which leads them astray to the insufferable big two. Although now a 2nd year student (stereotypically), I still look back fondly on the earlier days and how they keep me coming back today. Long may the heroes and villains of Firhill create the special bond with this fantastic club!

Ruairidh MacLennan

Down the pub talking about pigeons...

A brand new Jagscast is now available for download.

If you haven't subscribed yet, then you can access the pod here:

VBL and Cowie are joined by Mackie, making his season debut, to discuss Friday night football; players that you would invite down to the pub and the magic of floodlit games. Join them as they give their knee-jerk reactions to events on the pitch during and after the game against Morton.

VBL also chats to Ian Maxwell about his position as General Manager, and gets the lowdown on What a Sensation - an event marking the 40th anniversary of Thistle's League Cup win.


Thursday, 29 September 2011

Mum, Dad. I've got something to tell you...I'm a Thistle fan.

Our new columnist, David Hamilton, tells us about how he came to be a Jag. Born into a Green/Blue split family, he decided to stand out from his relatives and "take the moral highground". Enjoy!

Like a lot of Jags fans, I was not born into a Thistle mad family. My father was a Celtic season ticket holder for many years (his affinity with Simon Donnelly still lives strong today might I add), and my mother, born and bred in Ibrox was never going to be born into anything other than a Rangers household.

For the first thirteen years of my life, I’d be dragged along to both sides of the Old Firm, courtesy of my Celtic crazy uncle, and Rangers daft aunty. I can barely remember my first ever football match, but I do know that it was Rangers taking on Brechin City in the Scottish Cup, it must have been around 98’ or 99’. I’m sure that both my aunt and my uncle wouldn’t have guessed that in no time at all, I’d have renounced my life of sin, and start to live on the straight and narrow. My lifetime sentence as a Partick Thistle fan had began.

So why did I choose to be a Jags fan? Is there anybody in the world that would truly decide to follow Thistle through choice? Well apparently yes. I want to keep this as light-hearted as possible, but it’s hard to describe my journey to “Thistledom” without being a tad morose, so I will leave the majority of it out. But in short I learned a lot about what the two Old Firm clubs were really about, their history and their traditions, even at the age of thirteen I couldn’t comprehend why politics and football would be so interlinked. It was really then that I decided that I wanted to take in my first Partick Thistle match. Well maybe that wasn’t the only reason…my desire to be different and occupy some kind of moral high-ground that unquestionably comes with being a Jag fan perhaps also influenced my decision.

With no Jags fan in my family, it is difficult to pinpoint one person that really influenced me to become one of the Firhill faithful. But if I had to pick one, it would be my Dad. As I said, even though a Celtic fan himself, he couldn’t help but be proud of my decision to start attending Jags matches, certainly seems he had become so disillusioned with what his own team had become.

He took me to my first Jags match against Inverness Caledonian Thistle in the Scottish Cup replay on February 6th 2006. No Jags fan will need reminded of the teams heroics that evening. I can still remember the roar from the Jackie Husband Stand when Will Snowdon drilled home the winning spot kick on that bitterly cold evening. This victory was made even sweeter with the fact that it was broadcast live on SkySports across Britain. I like to think of someone in lets say Dorset, watching our wee Glesga’ team beating SPL opposition, as he patiently waits for the Beach Volleyball to begin. It was truly a fantastic night for everyone involved.

In June 2006 I received my first Partick Thistle Season Ticket, and that is an affinity I have carried to this day. From the 2007/2008 Season onwards I attended both home and away matches, and over the past three seasons I’ve missed no more than two games a season. I can truly say I am Thistle mad, I feel compelled to attend every match, from Dingwall to Dumfries and from Livingston to Ayr. And why do I do this? Well, it’s because of everything Thistle gives me. Joy, happiness, pride, passion, optimism…dangerously high blood pressure, greying hair despite my teenage years, manic depression and a worn out voice box. But that’s what makes it so exciting, so compelling! No Old Firm fan can ever understand the joy of finally scoring after a five match goal drought, or scoring against Dundee (doesn’t happen often enough) or waiting beady eyed in-front of the TV for that big Scottish Cup tie against an SPL team. I can honestly say us Jags are a special bunch, not led like sheep to follow the obvious choices, but more than happy to make up our own minds on who to support. But the thing I love most about us Jags fans is the unconditional pride and love for the team. A pride that only comes with the rollercoaster ride that being a Thistle fan entails.

I think now, under Jackie McNamara, this team is heading for a bright future. There has been no better time to rally behind our boys in red and yellow. So c’mon Jags fan, lets get right behind the team!

“Mon eh Jags”

David Hamilton

Friday, 23 September 2011


My life changed for the better on 17th June this year as my big sister gave birth to my first niece, Jennifer Anne. You may mutter about me having to man up a bit, but she's a magical wee thing who has made me and the whole family so happy.

Right, so how do we make sure she becomes a Jags fan?

Her mum, my sister, had her season ticket for almost ten years before giving it up during the summer. She was able to attend all but the final game of last season, a mean feat for someone who had a human being growing inside her for the majority of it! She is obviously keen for her offspring to follow in her footsteps. I can't wait for her to attend her first Thistle game. Her first ever football match was at Petershill Park where she saw her adoring uncle struggle to play a full 90 minutes at rightback in a bounce game. It wasn't fair on her. She'll see enough struggling righbacks in her life without having to watch her uncle make an arse of himself.

This idea of "making" your kid do the right thing and become a Jag has troubled me. What about when it's my turn to have weans? What if some wee numpty at my son's school persuades him to go along to an Old Firm game or worse, a Cly*e game?!? What if my son ends up listening to my father in law and decides he likes green and white hoops?!? These are the kind of things that keep me awake at night.

My dad managed it with all three of his children. Even although my first ever game was a ridiculously boring 1-1 draw on the first day of a Premier Division season with Hibs, I was hooked. How did my old man do it? I've thought long and hard about this and I've come up with a Rough Guide to Make Your Child a Footballing Masochist. Enjoy.

1. Create an air of mystery. I remember being about 3 or 4 and Dad would disappear on a Saturday afternoon. I was too young to completely understand what "off to the fitba" meant. I knew it was a game, and I knew that my dad liked it but I knew no more than that. I was curious. My curiousity increased dramatically when my two older siblings would be invited along to this football malarky. I wanted to go. Why wasn't I allowed to go? It's not fair Dad, take me too! Bingo.

2. Bribe them. When I was wee, Dad used to park the car on Braeside Street and we would walk to the stadium from there. There was a small newsagents near where we would park the car. Dad always made sure to pop in and get me a Ribena pre-match. Brammer.

3. Make them desperate. "So, eh, Dad. Thistle are at home today, you know?"
"Oh. Is that right, son?"
"Yup. Falkirk."
"We could get off the bottom of the table if we win."
"Is it still only a pound for me to get in?"
"Yeh. I think so."
"Can we go to the football?"
"I'll...I'll clean my room first?"
"We'll see."
2 o'clock comes.
"Right Vinny. Grab your scarf."

4. Buy them appropriately coloured toys. Ok, so a red and yellow tiger isn't scientifically accurate but maybe, just maybe, you'll hear your child playing with that tiger (which you decided to name Lambie) and that tiger might just be dummy fighting a green and blue parrot. Result.

5. Give them self-defence training. I'm not talking Krav Maga here. I'm thinking more along the lines of verbal self-defence. As you will know, your child will be exposed to some brutal slaggings in the playground. They need to be prepared, Monkey Island style. Here are a few gems that I've heard:
"The old firm are two cheeks of the same arse."
"I prefer to take the moral highground and support Thistle."
"I'm not just a sheep who foolishly follows the rest of the crowd."
(Depending on the current Rella strip) "Horizontal lines make you look fatter."
And the classic:
"4-1, 1971."

So, follow these guidelines and you'll be on your way to bringing up a Thistle family. I'd love to hear any other tricks, so get in touch.

I am delighted to tell you that my big sister is well on her way to bringing up a Thistle family. Which brings me onto my final tip:

6. Sign them up to be a Wee MacBee


Sunday, 18 September 2011

New JagsCast Available for Download

If you're already a subscriber, the new JagsCast - dealing with EGMs, animal masks, Robbo, Marko and Jean-Yves Anis - is winging its way to you now.

If you're not subscribed via iTunes or similar podcatching software, you can download it here:

The perfect way to celebrate our big win vs Ayr.

Onwards and upwards!

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Thistle 4-0 Ayr United

The Jagscast for today will be up shortly, but in the mean time, here are some (poor quality) videos of Cairney, Erskine and Doolan scoring the 2nd, 3rd and 4th goals at today's game, and a close chance for Rangers loanee Kyle Hutton and some smooth passing play with Thistle in control for the whole of the second half. Great game.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Meet the Manager Night

A lot has been said at boardroom level over the last few days, but what does Jackie McNamara think of the club and the season so far?

On Thursday 1st September, The Jags Trust hosted a Meet the Manager Evening. The Jagscast were lucky enough to record the evening for your listening pleasure!

Meet the Manager - September 2011 by Followthistle

Thursday, 1 September 2011

A visitor's view...

We, at the Jagscast, have been lucky enough to be able to publish this article on our site. Andy Hudson has traveled the world in search of football. He has taken in games in numerous countries and written a bit about them for his excellent website He need travel no more, however, as he has now experienced the greatest team of them all*. Partick Thistle.

We enjoyed his article. We hope you do too.

Saturday 27 August 2011
Scottish League Division 1
Partick Thistle 2 Queen of the South 1

“What was all that then? What? That. That was Glasgow.”

Edwin Morgan.

Travelling home on the Sunday afternoon train I had to remember the words of Scotland’s first Poet Laureate, Edwin Morgan. The combination of a late night out on Friday and an early Saturday morning train, followed by a day in the pub with friends had left me feeling rather fragile; actually, it left me feeling broken. From coffee and then Guinness in Òran Mór, where we were squeezed into the corner of a bench by a group of models having their make-up applied ahead of an assignment; to beers in Coopers and meeting up with the Thistle lads, Colin, Niall and Jonathan; to Firhill and the match; back to Coopers for post-match ales; to outdoor drinking at Jinty McGinty’s; to Tennent’s Bar for a portion of the evening; to somewhere else – Glasgow had defeated me. That football city which Daniel Defoe had claimed as being “the cleanest and beautifullest, and best built city in Britain,London excepted” had once again bested me. But this isn’t about the travel or the beer or even something conventionally beautiful; this about football.

For Glasgow to truly be a football city, which it is in my opinion, then the surface beyond Celtic and Rangers has to be scratched to uncover something more. And what comes after the Old Firm? That’ll be Partick Thistle, formed four years after Rangers and twelve years earlier than Celtic. While the Old Firm have celebrated success-upon-success, their neighbours, who moved from the Partick area of Glasgow to Firhill, a part of Maryhill, in 1909, have rarely scaled such heights. A 1921 Scottish Cup victory over Rangers and a 1971 League Cup victory over Celtic aside, the past has been anything but golden. But where’s the fun in expecting titles and cups year-after-year?

The fantastic Main Stand, opened in 1927, now stands empty, testament to spiralling operating and stewarding costs. Away fans occasionally sit in the North Stand, a structure that hints at certain ineptitude of the SFA. When the stand was opened in 2002 it was required so that ground could reach the 10,000 seater mark required for promotion to the SPL. That figure was only required for a short period of time, dropped down to a 6,000 seater capacity in 2005. Thistle had committed their eggs into that financial basket and when they were relegated in 2004, with Inverness taking their place after being allowed to groundshare with Aberdeen and thus reach the 10,000 capacity needed (this being only two years after Falkirk attempted to groundshare in order to take promotion to the SPL; a move which was blocked by the SFA), Thistle started to plummet. After spending much of the 1980s and 1990s close to bankruptcy, Thistle were once again left cashless, only this time it was largely to do with a stand that should never have been needed and is rarely full.

Following a match-saving cameo on his debut, Christie Elliott, recently signed from Whitley Bay, who themselves had plucked him from Jarrow FC and the Wearside League only last season, was handed his first start of his professional career. His former manager at Whitley Bay, Ian Chandler, had earlier told me that Christie “could be as good as he wants to be. He could easily play in the [English] Championship; he’s very, very quick; direct; two great feet. He’ll be huge in Scotland”. And after struggling to adjust to the pace of an error strewn game, it was Elliott who proved to be the difference for Partick once again. With five minutes remaining, and the crowd of just over 2,000 expecting the draw, a David Rowson cross was played back into the path of Elliott who stroked the ball into the bottom corner to lift The Jags three points clear of The Doonhamers at the bottom of the table.

Elliott had also played a part in the opening goal when, after 19 minutes, he chased Lee Robinson, the visiting ‘keeper, down and deflected the ball into the path of Kris Doolan to score. The visitors responded on the hour mark with their equaliser, which owed more to an error by the home ‘keeper, Scott Fox, than the quality of play. A long cross was played to the edge of the box and Fox was nowhere near collecting the ball when Mark Campbell flicked the ball into the net. Luckily the late goal by the lad who was playing English Level 11 football only months ago, made the difference in this Scottish First Division match.

Andy Hudson

*Might not be true.

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