1877-78 Getting Organised
September 1877 saw a real attempt to get the club organised and trying to lift it’s way out of the moras of struggling clubs. The first step was to form a committee at the general meeting of the club. On the 3rd September the first committee of the club was elected as follows :
- President – D. Stewart
- Captain – John Inglis
- Vice-captain – H. Miller
- Treasurer – G. Leckie
- Secretary – H. McColl, 2 Russell Street, Partick
Secretary McColl’s first task would have been to organise a regular programme of games for captain Inglis and his team. Three weeks later Thistle travelled to the north of the city to play Camden at Possil Park. Despite a goal by Inglis, Thistle went down by 1-3.
The following two weeks saw two further single goal defeats, away to Kerrland, and to Lumsden at Overnewton.
Evidence of the development in the club from the depths of the previous season was the development of the second team, an indication that youngsters in the area saw a club worth supporting. The next match that the “Seconds” played was a home game in October 1877 against Lumsden – a 1-0 defeat, before playing Partick Elm later in the same month – the game was stopped with half an hour still to play after Elm scored a disputed goal which put them into a 3-2 lead.
On the same day and also at Overnewton the first team played against Huntingdon and goals from Young, McColl, J.Inglis and T.Brown gave Thistle a comprehensive 4-0 win.
A further victory the following week – a 2-0 win with goals from J.Inglis and Gilmour against the Paperstainers of Whiteinch – would have set the scene nicely for the club’s first social gathering which was held at the Templars’ Rooms in Partick. “A very enjoyable evening was spent” read the reports.
Whether as a result of the “enjoyable evening” or not, the first team played only once in the four weeks after the social – a badly disciplined 1-1 draw against “2nd D.R.V.” with a goal scored by Willes.
While friendlies were still very much the order of the day (a 0-2 defeat by Levern and a 1-0 win over Camden in early December) there was a desire for organised competition in these still strictly amateur days. In December 1877 the newly-constituted West Of Scotland Association met in Dewars Temperance Hotel in Bridge Street, Glasgow for the draw of the inaugural West Of Scotland Cup. Partick Thistle were drawn against Cowlairs of Springburn at Overnewton Park.
Weather dictated that the cup tie would be the next game played and on the 19th January 1878 Partick Thistle played their first competitive match. Praise was high for the players of both teams, except for the Thistle backs, who were criticised for “playing rather loose”. This would appear to be rather harsh for the game ended in a 4-1 win for Thistle (T.Brown (2), J.Inglis, J.Bennie for Thistle, Greoch for Cowlairs). The draw for the next round gave Thistle another home match – against either Marchton or Walworth.
One match was played before the scheduled date for the cup tie – Thistle easily beating Camphill 3-0 (T.Brown, Bowie, Duff) at Overnewton.
The second round of the West Of Scotland Cup against Walworth was due to be played on the 16th February but no score was reported in the newspapers – a possible outcome was a walkover for Thistle as they, and not Walworth, appeared in the third round draw, teamed against Huntingdon. The cup tie with Huntingdon was played at Overnewton and finished 4-1 in favour of Thistle.
In preparation for the next round of the cup Thistle had an easy win over Springvale by 4-0 (T.Brown (2), Leckie, Beattie) before facing Kerrland at Overnewton in the Cup, their first loss in a cup tie coming from a 2-3 defeat.
Following the Cup exit the Thistle season petered out to a close, with only one game being played before the end of the season at the end of March – an enjoyable 0-0 draw with Partick Violet.
A successful season was brought to an end with a soiree at the Templars’ Rooms at the start of April. Mr J.Bowie was in the chair for the formal part of the evening, and stated that the club had played 29 matches in the season, winning 18, losing 7 and drawing 4, scoring 50 goals and conceding 19. He also stated that the club was in a very satisfactory state financially. “Singing and dancing was then carried on till an early hour with great spirit.”
Season by season
- Miscellaneous (16)
- Other clubs (15)
- Players (26)
- Thistle – early years (48)
- Thistle – general (5)
Football history links
- Ayr United archive
- Bill Shankly
- Falkirk Historian
- Gallant Pioneers – Early history of Rangers
- Glasgow Herald archive at Google
- Hibernian Historical Trust
- London Hearts
- Partick Thistle history archive by StuTheJag
- Rangers History
- Scottish Football Historical Archive
- Scottish Football Museum
- Scottish Sports History
- ScottishLeague.net and forum