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Partick Thistle

Partick Thistle fan Chris Fyfe sets out his side's promotion plan to the Premier League, rivalry with Airdrie and the club's 'tablecloth' kit

Have Thistle’s derby rivals changed over the years?
Our main rivals tend to fluctuate between Airdrie, Clydebank, Clyde and Killie depending on our res­pective fortunes. At the moment Killie’s prolonged SPL run takes them out of sight. The rivalry with the other Glasgow club, Clyde, came to a head when they lodged at Firhill for five years, due to their locals preferring to watch dog racing.

With the exception of Rangers our nearest geo­graphic rivals are Clydebank, until they decided to ground-share miles away in rain-lashed Greenock. The rivalry was never intense, until 1997 and Bos­man. The Steedmans who owned Clydebank de­cided there was no money to be made in selling young players. So they sold the ground and the club, leaving the Bankies homeless, and announ­ced they would invest the money in Thistle but pulled out after seeing our books. The sorry epi­sode nearly destroyed both clubs and created a great deal of ill-feeling between the fans.

Airdrie remain as the object of undisguised mutual loathing: an unpleasant team with a large phalanx of violent supporters. To put it in perspective, when Airdrie played Rangers in the Scottish Cup final ten years ago, most Thistle fans couldn’t decide who they wanted to lose.

What would Partick need to do to establish themselves back in the Premier League?
First, lose no more games than Airdrie in the next few weeks and second, get the third stand built by March 31. Staying in the Premier League will re­quire us to stop John Lambie retiring and ride a bit of luck – usually one SPL team self-destructs each year. I’m sure that most Jags fans would prefer to stabilise the club and be in a position that we could survive relegation and get promoted again quickly, rather than “go for broke”, which usually means going broke.

You can’t go wrong with red and yellow stripes for a kit – or can you?
Where to begin? Something that could best be described as a red and yellow gingham tablecloth was bad but back in mid-1980s we had red shorts, yellow top with red arms and shoulders and black and white flashes. If you were lucky enough to find one in the sparse club shop, it had the sponsor Colonel Gee’s logo, but no club badge. The top also coincided with an appalling team, a near derelict ground and a playing surface that lost its grass by December.

Milestones & millstones
1876 In Overnewton Park, Partick Thistle overcome Valencia 1-0. The first recorded result for Thistle. A stream of good results then allows Thistle to emerge from local fauna rivals Possil Bluebell and Partick Violet.
1909 Thistle leave Partick to make their home in Firhill Park, Maryhill.
1921 The visit of the Emperor of Japan results in Thistle’s first major trophy, the Scottish Cup, with a 2-1 victory over Rangers.
1930s Thistle change from their all dark blue strip to the red and yellow hoops and white shorts of the local rugby club, West of Scotland.
1963 Third place in the league and qualification for the Fairs Cup. Glentoran become the only club to be knocked out of European football by the Jags.
1971 The return of the Emperor of Japan to the UK results in our second major trophy, the League Cup: Partick Thistle 4, Celtic 1.
1976 Having just missed out on the cut for the Premier League, Thistle beat Airdrie to the new First Division championship.
1982 Relegation from the Premier League sees us almost go out of business.
1992 10,000 at home to Forfar see the first John Lambie miracle as we gain promotion to the Premier League.
1996 Play-off relegation sees Thistle free-fall again under manager Murdo McLeod.
1997 Relegation to the Second, but the club rebuilds with the The Jags Trust, ensuring a permanent supporters’ voice on the boardroom. Lambie returns.

Fondly remembered
John Lambie ~ He's been our manager three times and on each occasion he has taken the club upwards. Lambie is a hard-working, under-rated genius who gets the best out of playersand wheels and deals. He is also excellent at spotting and developing talent.

Best forgotten
Derek Johnstone ~ Of all the ex-Old Firm has-beens who we have misguidedly let our club fall to ruin under, big Derek stands out. Abiding memory is the photocall of Derek eating a curry in the centre circle, the resulting motion being the quickest, most incisive action of his short stay in charge.

From WSC 182 April 2002. What was happening this month

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