Partick Thistle

Partick Thistle Football Club


  • Best League Finish: 3rd in the Scottish League Division A / Division One (3 times)
  • Best Scottish Cup Finish: Winners (1920-21)
  • Scottish Cup
    • Winners (1): 1920–21
  • Scottish League Cup
    • Winners (1): 1971–72
  • Scottish Championship / Scottish Football League First Division
    • Champions (6): 1896–97, 1899–1900, 1970–71, 1975–76, 2001–02, 2012–13
  • Scottish League One / Scottish Football League Second Division
    • Champions (2): 2000–01, 2020–21

Partick Thistle Football Club is a Scottish team currently playing in the Scottish Championship, the second-tier league in the Scottish football pyramid. Despite its name, they are based in the Maryhill / Cnoc Màiri area of Glasgow having not played in Partick / Partaig / Pairtick since 1908. Maryhill is located on the northern outskirts of Scotland’s biggest city with a population of approximately of 74k inhabitants, and famously has the Forth and Clyde Canal running through the suburb. Partick Thistle currently plays its home games at the 10,102-capacity all-seater Firhill Stadium which has been the home of the club since their move from Partick. The ground can be found within a meander of the Forth & Clyde Canal with the Firhill Basin situated to the northwest of the stadium.

The club was founded in 1876 in the burgh of Partick, located next to the River Clyde and the venue of the first international football match between Scotland and England in 1872. They initially established themselves as the most popular local team ahead of now-defunct Partick FC, before joining the rival Scottish Football Alliance in 1891 and then becoming full members of the Scottish Football League in 1893. During the early years of the SFL, the club fluctuated between the two leagues winning two second-tier titles, their first coming in the 1896–97 season, before achieving promotion to the top flight in the 1902-03 season and staying there for nearly seventy years.

The club’s greatest achievement is arguably winning the 1920-21 Scottish Cup, their sole Scottish Cup victory to date, when they beat local rivals Rangers by a single goal from Johnny Blair. Partick Thistle reached a second Scottish Cup final nine years later but ended up on the wrong side of a 2-1 scoreline against the same opponents. The Jags‘ best league finish in their history has been third position in the league, which they have achieved on three occasions in the 1947–48, 1953–54, and 1962–63 seasons, although sadly their long-term top-flight status came to an end seven years after finishing third when they were relegated at the end of the 1969-70 season. However, relegation would result in Partick’s most memorable year in their history. In 1971, they first achieved an instant promotion back to the First Division having won the 1970-71 SFL Second Division title before clinching their second national cup competition in the October of that year by comprehensively beating Celtic 4-1 in the League Cup final at Hampden Park.

Unfortunately, the fortunes of Partick Thistle declined in the 1980s and 1990s. They played the majority of the former decade in the second tier, the first time they had stayed outside of the top flight since the late 19th century, and became a failed feeder club for Chelsea when they were owned by their controversial owner Ken Bates. The club did manage to return to the Scottish Premier League for a four-season spell in the early-to-mid 90s, but by the end of the decade, the club was in serious financial trouble and sliding down the leagues, with the fans having to save the club from a potential bankruptcy in 1998. After a period of stabilisation in the third tier, the club achieved back-to-back promotions to return to the SPL in 2002 for a brief two-season stay.

Throughout the 21st century, the club has played in the top two tiers of Scottish football with a couple of brief spells competing in the third tier (the last time coming in the 2020-21 season). Thistle played in the Scottish Premiership for five seasons in the mid-2010s, with their highest league placement of sixth position coming in the 2016-17 season before being relegated to the Championship in the following season. Following promotion from League One in 2021, last season Partick Thistle finished their campaign in fourth place and qualified for the end-of-season promotion playoffs. Alas, a repeat of the back-to-back promotions that occurred at the turn of the millennium was halted at the playoff quarter-final stage by losing 1-3 on aggregate to Inverness Caledonian Thistle.

To talk about a club who are one-time Scottish Cup winner, have a long history within Scottish football, and looks set to qualify for the promotion playoffs for the second season in a row, we interviewed the excellent Scotland Forever! Football Magazine. Originally known as “Scotland Epistles“, SFFM is a fanzine that produces “humorous, serious, and anoraky articles” on Scottish football and can be bought on eBay. To find out more about SFFM, or to buy their previous editions of the fanzine, you can find them at the following links below:

Q. Firstly, how did you decide to start following and supporting Partick Thistle?

Like a lot of people, it was through my family. My Dad’s family were Rangers supporters but he saw Thistle playing in the pre-season five-a-side tournaments in the 50s and was so enthralled by their attacking flair, so he changed allegiance and my brothers and our children have all followed suit.

Looking at the main Colin Weir Stand at the Firhill Stadium.
[IMAGE: Courtesy of Scotland Forever! Football Magazine]

Q. From your time following the club, who has been your favourite player, and the reasoning behind your choice?

Alan Rough

It probably is Alan Rough [goalkeeper who played for Partick Thistle between 1969 and 1982, playing over 400 times for the club]. A player for Thistle winning 50 Scotland caps and playing at two World Cups [1978 and 1982] – Incredulous. However, seeing him week by week he was pure class. Other than Rough it would be Kenny Watson, a cultured left-footed midfield player who unfortunately in the 80s played in a lot of poor Thistle teams [Watson played for the club between 1980 and 1989 making over 250 appearances].

Q. Of the current squad, who would you say is the best player at the club and why?

Harry Milne

It’s a difficult one as we have many individually skillful players and two decent goalkeepers. Overall probably 26-year-old left-back Harry Milne who we signed from Cove Rangers [in 2022] and has contributed to a number of goals this season.

Q. Who would you say is the most exciting up & coming talent at the club?

In recent years we have lacked a Youth set-up that produces great players, so sadly, I have to pass on that one.

Q. Who would you regard as Partick’s biggest or historical rivals?

Obviously, with the Old Firm on our doorstep whom we have not been able to compete with for a number of years, it probably is historically Clyde, the former Glasgow team. However, we do have a lot of teams that games can get feisty at, such as Hamilton Academical, Greenock Morton, and a number of other clubs.

Q. What has been the best game, result, or performance from your time following the club?

I was only eight at the time but was fortunate to go to the League Cup Final in 1971 when we beat Celtic 4-1. Nothing really compares to that but there are still plenty of highs.

Q. What do you think of the situation in Scottish league football currently? Are there any improvements you would like to see happen?

I would like to see us go back to the old style of an 18-team league table but no one is going to vote not to play the ‘Ugly Sisters’ at home twice a season, however, the current format is boring as hell.

Q. How would you describe the current performance or state of the club? How do you think this season has gone so far?

Kris Doolan

We are now likely to achieve a play-off place and if we can sustain our current form I can see us going up. I personally felt former manager Ian McCall [who left the club in February 2023 and was replaced with the current manager Kris Doolan] should have been shelved a lot sooner.

Q. What are the best and worst things about being a fan of the club?

The 2021-22 Scottish Championship table.
[IMAGE: Wikipedia]

The best thing is my fellow fans, and like most supporters, the hope that the current season is going to be a defining one!!! The worst thing is when all hope is gone for the season by January or even sooner!

Q. Finally, what are your hopes for the future of Partick Thistle?

A bloody cup run would be nice!

Kingsley – Partick’s unique mascot!

A massive thank you to the Scotland Forever! Football Magazine for answering our questions on the Scottish Championship side Partick Thistle. Remember you can find their excellent website (which has links to buy their superb fanzine) and social media accounts in the links towards the top of the blogpage.

If you have any comments, suggestions, reactions, or even your own answers to the above questions, please write them in the comments box below. Likewise, you can either email us at or send a message at @The94thMin on Twitter.


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