Fellow Yellows – Partick Thistle FC

Scottish Premier League
Partick Thistle FC v Celtic FC
Saturday, 27th October 2013, 12.45pm
Firhill Stadium
Entrance £25, Programme £3
Distance 389 miles, Attendance 7978

131027 SPL Partick Thistle v Celtic (23)b

Inside a Firhill bustling with pre-match excitement, we’d already spent an incredibly privileged hour in the company of Partick’s club historian before, Duncan Murray ushered us off to the local.
Whilst Ciaran – an Evertonian with Thistle connections – was familiar with this Rellow Army routine, for me Maryhill (which naturally “is wonderful” in football parlance) was a totally new experience.
Outside fans of both hues stood in the rain, waiting for the landlord to open up. Eight parts yellow to two parts green, thirty minutes later the Star & Garter was a heaving mass; grown men standing on chairs, drinks in hands, bellowing out partisan verses in the direction of their neighbours.
Whilst not matching the cauldron inside, out in the street, even the persistent downpour couldn’t dampen the growing expectation. My anticipation was no less; ever since Watford had signed Maurice Johnston from Partick, I had wanted to come here. Being the top division’s only Glasgow derby, today’s match-up had added spice but for me, it was entirely about the club colours.
131027 SPL Partick Thistle v Celtic (42)wIn all the excitement, I stupidly forgot to acquire a programme before entering through old turnstiles. Needing to get back out again, thankfully the ten minutes of cross-border negotiations were not in vain. Moments later – with much gratitude to the understanding steward – I made my way up into the wooden Main Stand. Usually home for away supporters, the Jags’ faithful had been moved here for the day on police orders. Though this provoked disparaging comments, unwavering Jags’ pride was admirably displayed throughout this eagerly contested encounter.
Whilst Celtic seemed physically stronger, at no point did Partick look overawed. Samaras and Ledley both showed willing before shooting over and, Stokes failed to connect with an easy target. Up the other end however, Partick weren’t to be outdone which lifted the home crowd considerably.
131027 SPL Partick Thistle v Celtic (58)wWith much of the game being played out in the middle, when Aaron Sinclair skinned his marker and fired straight at the keeper, it felt like a succinct match summary but, I knew it wouldn’t last. After a little pressure from the men in green stripes on hoops, their star performer Izaguirre lofted over a pinpoint corner, leaving unmarked Samaras (who for once wasn’t falling over) with the easiest job in the world. Though not at fault, Scott Fox made some superb blocks to hold the score, and both Sean Welsh and Kallum Higginbottom made positive impressions at the other end.
131027 SPL Partick Thistle v Celtic (66)wAfter the break the Jags really regained control. Forster was forced into some fine saves, Higginbottom lobbed wide and a fine James Craigen interception lead to two more shots on target. Throughout this period Isaac Osbourne was dominant in midfield and just past the hour, the Jags got a deserved equaliser. Having headed on to the bar from Higginbottom’s corner, in the resulting scramble Kris Doolan fired home.
The heartfelt celebrations about me sadly didn’t last long. Within ten minutes visiting sub Baldé muscled through the defence and gave Fox little chance. Partick tried to draw level again but by then, Celtic had parked their bus and their fans had begun trickling out.
Partick may not have the same size and historical success as their West Glasgow neighbours but bellowing out “We stay to the end…” the pride in their achievements is both evident and justified.

Turning down a return to the pub, I waited for the bus back into town. “Do you support Celtic?” asked a teenager standing nearby. “No, Watford.” He looked puzzled and, seemingly unable to continue the conversation, turned back to scrutinising the timetable. I dearly wanted to retort with the words of club Santa, John Smith, “At least they play in the right colours!” but – with a rainbow over Maryhill – the moment had passed.

???????????????????????????????As the new metal plate in my finger pinged at the security gate I was still pondering it all. I’d been inches from legendary Jim Clarke but totally enthralled by Robert Reid’s tales of Husband, Rough & Sharp. Theirs was the team for fans who could “think for themselves”; a wholesome football experience for discerning families and supporters.
There are very few clubs with which one forms an immediate bond but like KV Mechelen; Partick Thistle ticks all the boxes for me.


shorts league
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Initially appearing in the 2013-14 Watford FC matchday programmes, consequently these reports will have a delayed publication on here.

Fellow Yellows programme (13)

This entry was posted in 2013-2014, Fellow Yellows, Scottish Premier League and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Fellow Yellows – Partick Thistle FC

  1. Jay Richardson says:

    Great article love the work. Yellow Army.

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