The first time Partick Thistle hosted a visit from Celtic was on 10 October 1891 in the Glasgow Cup. Celtic, having been founded in 1887, were founder members of the Scottish League while Thistle, 12 years their visitor’s senior, were playing in the Scottish Alliance – an unofficial Second Division.
Despite a good first half performance from Thistle, and especially William Proudfoot (“Thistle were wound up to a highly nervous pitch,” reported the Scottish Referee newspaper), Celtic won 3-0, and progressed to win the final, and also reach the Scottish Cup Final.
The Scottish Referee newspaper’s match report took the unusual step of allowing representatives of both clubs to comment. Thistle’s comments are interesting:
Yes, we had the mighty Celts at Inchview on Saturday – the first time we played them on our own ground. We do not forget the last time we had the pleasure of a game with them. It was last year, in the same competition. They licked us by 5 goals to 1, but we only had ten men during most of the second half, our goalkeeper, McCorkindale, having to retire through an accident.
It is not often we have such a gate at Inchview. Like a few more of our less fortunate clubs, we were badly in need of it. We have had a couple of poor seasons.
We must admit we were not sanguine of outing the Celts, but a draw on our ground would have satisfied us. With ordinary luck we might have managed this.
We were sorry Smith was unable to play as right half. It would have completed our usual team; but still, we consider D.Freebairn played a capital substitute. It was said West Bromwich was after the former. He is employed in the shipbuilding line. His terms were a shipyard down to begin with. Negotiations are still pending, and we would be sorry to lose him.
Oh, the tie! We consider the proper result was 2 goals to 1 in favour of the Parkhead lot. How? We distinctly maintain, and many outsiders beside ourselves, that the goal scored by McCrombie from the extreme left was a legitimate one. Why? The ball was worked up on that side.
The second goal taken by Campbell was a more glaring instance of offside. He simply stood in front of our goal and put the ball past McCorkindale.
Well, we do not think a referee is infallible. Yet Mr Miller is not the man for us. We could not help the party bawling from the stand time and again that “he was a real Irishman.”
Yes; our team fought gamely, but the Celts, you know, are not to be laughed at, and unless we were blinded and told a fib we cannot but admit their superiority.
McCorkindale in goal maintained our prestige. Long life to “Corky”. Paul, we think, did not get much opportunity to shine. Our wings were sometimes wrong in monopolising the ball.
No; we do not wish to say anything about protesting. Just now that question is best left alone.
Some of Celtic’s comments are worth a read too.
We were pleased to meet the Partick Thistle in the Glasgow ties. We met them once before. You see, we have the Hearts to treat at Parkhead next Saturday, and a practice game was the very thing we wanted.
Our team did not stress themselves, and so long as they kept the lead did not concern themselves further. They ought to have had a few more goals. The form displayed by their custodian was exceptional, and we could not but admire his ability. Several times our goal had pretty narrow escapes, but, on the whole, we had little fear.
It was an ugly shot that Kelly had from the extreme left. The ball off his hands executed an acute angle, bounding through on the inside of the post. Jim Kelly thought the player was offside, and had it not been for his exertions in appealy we might have lost a goal. We know the Thistle are sore over the goal scored by Campbell, but, of course, we take all we can get. They would do the same. We think the referee, all the same, acted up to what he considered right and just.
What? The Thistle’s protest re Doyle and Brady. Ha! ha! ha! Good old bogey! Well, “between you and me and Gallacher’s pet dog,” where the Everton have already failed does the Partick Club hope to succeed?
The protest referred to was around Celtic players Doyle and Brady. Dan Doyle played, having recently signed for Celtic after leaving Everton in acrimonious circumstances, accused of being paid (by supposedly amateur) Celtic and Bolton, as well as Everton, to sign for the forthcoming season – wages from three clubs! Everton had appealed to the SFA to have Doyle suspended, and the Referee newspaper suggested that Thistle might appeal the result of the game based on Doyle being ineligible to play the game. [http://www.thecelticwiki.com/page/Doyle,+Daniel] Everton were similarly unhappy at Brady having signed for Celtic. Thistle took the appeal no further and exited the competition.
The Referee also reported that some damage had been done to the perimeter fence/palisade at Inchview during the game, and that Thistle had benefited financially from the 5000 crowd at the game.
Season by season