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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