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

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