Promoted as Division One champions in 2013, Partick Thistle are based in the Maryhill area of north-west Glasgow. Originally, as their name suggests, the club came from Partick, site of the West of Scotland Cricket Club where the world’s first football international took place, in 1872.
Formed four years later, Partick Thistle adopted their floral moniker shortly before the move to the Firhill Stadium, 1909. Under long-term manager George Easton, Partick improbably won the Scottish Cup in 1921. Led by ‘Napoleon’ McMenemey, Thistle scored the only goal, a somewhat fluky effort from Blair. Rangers gained revenge by beating the Jags after a final replay in 1930.
Rangers legend Davie Meiklejohn played in all three of those finals, and spent his entire post-war managerial career at Partick. He was to die at Airdrie, shortly after leaving his position to another Rangers stalwart, Willie Thornton, in 1959.
Both managers took Thistle to a third place in the top flight, in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s, with winger Davie McParland making 400-plus appearances over nearly two decades. It only took him a year as manager to achieve Partick’s greatest triumph of the modern era, the shock 4-1 League Cup Final win over Jock Stein’s Celtic in 1971. With Alan Rough in goal, and Jimmy Bone and Alex Rae up front, a team of part-timers and youngsters incredibly went 4-0 up inside 37 minutes, holding on against Kenny Dalglish, Jimmy Johnstone and Lou Macari. Rough, a recently qualified electrician, only let one past him in the second half. Thistle’s finest 90 minutes also involved right-back John Hansen, whose younger brother Alan of Liverpool fame was in the crowd that day, breaking into Partick’s first team two years later.
Even in transition, Honvéd easily saw off Thistle in the subsequent UEFA Cup tie a year later. An Inter-Toto appearance in 1995 met with similar failure.
Rough spent most of his career at Firhill Park, Scotland’s first-choice keeper at two World Cups. His departure in 1982 signalled a period of lower-flight football and near extinction as debts mounted through the 1990s. A fans’ campaign saved the club, as manager John Lambie performed miracles with minimal resources on the pitch.
The Jags yo-yo’d between divisions, before gaining promotion under former stalwart Thistle centre-back Alan Archibald in 2013.
Set on a bend of the Forth & Clyde Canal frequented by fisherman and dog-walkers, Firhill has been Partick’s home ground since 1909. It’s also the nearest ground to central Glasgow.
Equipped with a main stand in 1927 and floodlights in 1955, Firhill was also used at various times by Clyde, Hamilton and even Hibernian. The Edinburgh team staged the away leg of their European Cup tie with Djurgården here, a few days before the home one at Easter Road, in the inaugural tournament of 1955-56.
Modernised with new stands in 1994 and 2002, the ground is today a comfortable all-seater of 10,000 capacity. Home fans gather in the Jackie Husband Stand, visiting ones in the Main Stand.
The M3 bus from Cowcaddens subway station (8min) stops right outside the ground but it’s daytime only, every 30min and none run on Sun. Alternatively, head to St.George’s Cross subway station and take any bus going up Maryhill Road – Nos.C8, C10, 10, 16, 17, 60 and 61 are all good. It should be three stops – or a 10-15min walk.
The ticket office (Mon-Fri 9am-5pm, match day 10am-1.5hrs before kick-off) is behind the Main Stand on Firhill Road. Cash can be paid at the turnstiles. The club also runs an online service.
Prices are set at £20, free for under-16s except in the Main Stand, entry £5.
Certain games, such as the visit of Celtic, are all-ticket.
The club has a matchday store behind the Main Stand on Firhill Road and operates an online service through Total Teamware.
If you’re walking up Maryhill Road from St.George’s Cross subway, you’ll first come to the Royalty Bar (No.144), a sports pub preferred by Rangers fans. Further up on the other side of the street, the Woodside Inn (No.239) is more of a Thistle hang-out, also with TV sports. Prime spot is the Munns Vaults (No.610), just after the turning for Firhill. Partick paraphernalia, framed shirts and the like, brighten a darkish interior equipped with a pool table.
At the stadium, the signposted Social Club is usually open and friendly to all-comers.