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  Thursday, 21 March, 2002, 15:07 GMT
Beware the Jags' sting
Partick manager John Lambie poses with the Scottish Cup
Can Thistle repeat the Scottish Cup result of 1921
Scottish football historian Bob Crampsey reflects on Partick Thistle's tales of glory ahead of their Scottish Cup semi final clash with Rangers.

The last time Partick Thistle won a Scottish Cup tie against Rangers was back in 1921, when the Jags got their hands on the trophy for the one and only time.

The game was unusual for a number of reasons, not least the shock result.

There was a boycott from supporters because they had put the prices up from one shilling to two.

The crowd at Parkhead struggled to make 30,000 which was markedly down on what was expected.

Jimmy McMenemy, the old Celtic star, was the Thistle trainer at that time and he persuaded the management to let him play on his old ground, although he was much nearer 40 than 30.

Jimmy Bone was on target in the 71 League Cup final
He played a blinder on the day and added another cup medal to the six he had won with Celtic.

Jimmy Blair was the Jags goal hero, scoring the only goal of the game while Rangers were temporarily reduced to ten men - due to man leaving the field to change his shorts.

It was a win against the odds and Thistle, who were the archetypal mid-table side, were rarely a force in the cup competitions.

Thistle were back in the Scottish Cup final for the only other time nine years later and again it was Rangers who were to provide the opposition. After a 0-0 draw the Ibrox side triumphed 2-1.

They were a side capable of four or five stellar performances a year, when they could beat anyone and that has been the way throughout much of their history.

In 1935 the Jags won both the Glasgow Cup and the Charity Cup, both competitions that were taken very seriously, but it wasn't until 1971 that the glory days returned to Maryhill.

It was one of the biggest shocks in Scottish football history when news filtered through that Partick Thistle were leading Celtic 4-0 at half time in the League Cup final.

One of the great myths surrounding that game was that Rangers supporters left their match in droves to cheer on the giant-killing Jags.

Ronnie Glavin was one of the stars of 1971
I was at Ibrox that day and don't remember the second half being played out in front of empty terracing.

What I do recall is the gasps of incredulity and then the whoops of joy.

That disbelief extended to the BBC, where television presenter Frank Bough said the score must be a mistake.

Thistle had a good young side and played very well on the day against the all-conquering Celtic side of the time.

Crucially, Billy McNeill wasn't playing and there was a hole you could have driven a bus through in the heart of the Celtic defence.

Thistle were given four half chances and took them.

The story goes that when they left Hampden to carry on the celebrations at Firhill stadium, nobody had the keys to let them in - so, clearly, they hadn't been expecting a party back at their place.

Links to more Scottish Cup stories are at the foot of the page.

 

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