Jackie Husband
Jackie Husband
Jackie Husband
● Jackie Husband, 1946 (SD)

born in Scotland

John Husband was born on Tuesday, 28th May, 1918, in Dunfermline, Fife.

The 5' 9 (10st 13lbs) defender signed for Donald Turner's Thistle on Saturday, 29th October, 1938, having most recently been with Yoker Athletic.

Aged 20, he made his debut appearance on Tuesday, 28th March, 1939, in a 4-0 win at home to Hibernian in the SFL First Division.

Jackie scored his first goal for Thistle on Saturday, 10th August, 1940, in a 5-2 win at home to Dumbarton in the Southern League.

He scored the last of his 12 goals on Saturday, 30th August, 1947, in a 3-3 draw at home to Falkirk in the League Cup.

He played his last game for the club on Saturday, 26th May, 1951, in a 2-1 neutral-venue friendly win against Third Lanark, having clocked up an impressive 368 appearances as a Jag.

His club-list included Yoker Athletic and Partick Thistle.

Jackie died on Wednesday, 29th April, 1992, in Renfrew, Renfrewshire, aged 73.

Bio Extra

The feed below comes from our “Partickle”, Thee Jackie Husband →



Thee Jackie Husband

by Stuart Deans & William Sheridan

Club historian Robert Reid knows a thing or two about Partick Thistle legends, so when he describes Jackie Husband as a Thistle stalwart par excellence one must sit up and take notice. For whole new generations of Partick Thistle fans, “The Jackie Husband” has been part of the bi-weekly parlance for a good few decades now. The East stand named in his honour is an impressive engineering structure of concrete and steel, most certainly fit to house the Firhill faithful at Saturday worship. But what of thee Jackie Husband? What of the man, the legend?
Young Jackie Husband
● Young Jackie, smart and handsome.

Donald Turner had his eyes on Yoker Athletic's 20-year-old half-back at the start of our last pre-war season, and finally made his move towards the end of 1938. Little did he, or Jackie, know that this would be the start of a working relationship between a man and a club that would span almost 54 years, broken only by a two-year stint as manager of Queen of the South. 368 appearances and 12 goals doesn't even begin to tell the story of Jackie's involvement with Thistle; player, captain, trainer, coach, physiotherapist, scout, kitman, handyman, bus driver, pitch sander, not to mention being a general mentor to one and all, especially in his later years.

On the 77th anniversary of Jackie becoming the first Partick Thistle captain to lift a national trophy at Hampden Park, we look back at the life and times of the gentleman who was the very definition of “a great servant to the club”.

THE EARLY YEARS

A wartime baby, he was born John Husband, on 28th May, 1918, the son of John Husband (ploughman) and Sarah Berry Husband (née Dyet), on Craig's Farm, Dunfermline. As you'd expect from such a hardy background, Jackie (as he became more commonly known) was a no-nonsense wholehearted player, known for possessing a hard shot and an ability to turn defence into attack, both on the field and from the touchline, where his 40 yard throws from those well-developed forearms were the stuff of legend, at once invoking gushing commentary from those penning the column inches and excited roars from the terraces. His technique even went so far as to be the subject of an educational film in 1948 which featured close-ups of Jackie demonstrating the skill. Jackie had initially started out as a goalkeeper, where he perfected his ball-handling technique, as he himself explained:

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I began my career as a goalkeeper with Renfrew High School in 1931, and kept that position for the three years I was in the school team. I later joined 1st Renfrew Boys' Brigade and for the next three seasons I was still a goalkeeper. Captain and tutor of my boys brigade company was Mr. T. Y. Morton, a prominent Junior goalkeeper, and he taught me a great deal about the goalkeeping art. In 1935, I stepped up to juvenile football with Renfrew Waverley, still as a goalkeeper, but before long I was moved into the half-back line. In the first season, I played in all three half-back positions.

In April 1937, international recognition came his way at the age of 18 when he was selected by the Scottish Juvenile FA for the annual challenge match against the auld enemy. Jackie received a cap from the Association and was allowed to keep the jersey as a memento. The proud Renfrew Waverley committee presented him with a handsome wristlet watch to mark the occasion. Alas, the 7-1 loss at Leeds was a sore one to take; there would be better days ahead for Jackie in the dark blue of Scotland. A runners-up medal in the Scottish Juvenile Cup final of 1938 also left him with mixed emotions, but the final played at Easter Road gave him another taster of the big occasion.

With the family in tow, Jackie's father had moved to work on the Blytheswood Estate in Renfrew, and the town became Jackie's base for the vast majority of his days. His first job was as an apprentice pattern-maker with John Brown's shipyard in Clydebank, and it's thought he worked on some of Cunard liners before the war. A decent weekly wage assured, he was then able to relax and enjoy whatever opportunities came his way in the often unreliable world of football.

The 20-year-old stepped up to the junior ranks with Yoker Athletic in the close season of 1938. The Whe Ho had been to two Junior Cup finals this decade, so this was a very decent chance to gain further recognition. They were also very conveniently situated; it was a short walk from his Renfrew home and 5 minutes on the ferry! However, this handy set-up was soon interrupted by Thistle gaffer Donald Turner, who had “haunted” the Husband family home until he finally made contact with the ever-busy Jackie. A meeting was finally arranged at a Glasgow hotel for the evening of 29th October, 1938. As fate would have it, Jackie played in Maryhill that day, at Lochburn Park to be precise, where Yoker lost by one goal to nil. While waiting for Mr. Turner's arrival, Jackie glanced at the day's other results; Ayr United 3 Partick Thistle 0. Oh dear, this was hardly the ideal backdrop for convivial negotiations. Any worries on that score were soon cast aside however. Husband thought Turner most gentlemanly, and one of the greatest handshakes in the history of Partick Thistle Football Club was made. Spare a thought for poor old Yoker Athletic; nine weeks of service was all they got from their prime asset of the day!

TO FIRHILL

In the springtime of 1939, after five months in the reserves, Jackie got his first taste of senior football - and his first taste of the “great unpredictables”. One glance at his first 4 games, all in the top-flight, leaves you shaking your head in bemusement:

vidx.png Tue-28-Mar-1939 [h] (2-0) W4-0 Hibernian (SFL First Divison - game 34)
vidx.png Sat-01-Apr-1939 [a] (0-3) L0-7 St Johnstone (SFL First Divison - game 35)
vidx.png Sat-08-Apr-1939 [h] (2-0) W4-1 Third Lanark (SFL First Divison - game 36)
vidx.png Sat-22-Apr-1939 [a] (0-2) L0-4 Arbroath (SFL First Divison - game 37)

From sheer magnificence to utter hopelessness, sometimes even in the same match; such was the magnetic appeal of this unfathomable footballing institution. Jackie, for one, was hooked.

Greatest throw
● The greatest throw in the game.

War threatened to put an end to the football entirely in the following season, but in fitba' daft Scotland, regional tournaments were introduced and the show carried on. Jackie's trade being classed as a reserved occupation, he was exempt from military service, but he served in the Home Guard at Blytheswood nonetheless, combining this with his full-time job in the shipyards, as well as being a near ever-present for the Jags. He was actually the most prominent of our wartime players, clocking up 262 appearances during what's regarded as the 7 seasons of conflict (1939-40 to 1945-46 inclusive). Peter Curran, Bobby Henderson and Willie Sharp were the only others going through the 200 barrier during these years. This was an exceptionally humdrum period for the club, as finishes between 10th and 12th were recorded in 7 consecutive seasons of a 16 team regional League with no relegation to worry about or, indeed, to get excited about.

Not to say there weren't some memorable days along the way, of course. There was a notable run to the Glasgow Charity Cup final in May 1941, which included an astonishing win over Clyde by 7 goals to 5, as well as a brilliant 2-1 victory over Celtic in the semi final. 28,000 were at the Hampden final vs. Rangers (an excellent crowd in wartime) and Husband was outstanding in his joust with “the wizard of the dribble”, Stanley Matthews, who was guesting for the Ibrox side. Jackie enjoyed the experience of playing against such a famous opponent, but the 3-0 loss was undoubtedly a disappointment. More joyously, Jackie scored in thumping great wins over Motherwell (3-0 at Fir Park, Apr '43), vs. Airdrie (6-1, Oct '43), vs. St Mirren (3-0, Oct '44), vs. Kilmarnock (5-3, Oct '45) and Hamilton (5-1, Nov '45).

A good laugh
● Shankly, Husband & Parker; they enjoyed a good laugh.

He fondly recalled his team-mates of the day, where a laugh and a joke got them through the tough times. Particularly hilarious was his recollection of Bill Shankly's last day as a player for the club, in December 1945. They were on the train to Dumfries and Shankly spotted Bobby Parker looking disconsolately out of the compartment window at the driving rain: “Boaby! Don't stick your heid oot o' that window or folk will think this is a cattle train.” Cue the howls of laughter and much banging of tables!

NATIONAL CUP GLORY AT HAMPDEN

As a Jag, Jackie's greatest success of all came halfway through that very year, 1945. On the 30th June, Partick Thistle won the second of the three major trophies to land in the cabinet at Firhill Road - The Summer Cup. It’s the one that’s usually overlooked – mainly due to the fact that it was a short-lived wartime competition which, unlike the Scottish Cup and the League Cup, is now firmly out of sight and out of mind. However, it was regarded nationally as a significant achievement for the Jags at the time, and it should naturally follow that it remains so in the 21st Century.

Summer Cup 1945
● At Hampden, Captain Husband receives the Summer Cup from SFA president Gray, 30th June 1945.

It was played over the course of six consecutive Saturdays. The war in Europe was over – and for the faithful in red ‘n’ yellow, Thistle did their very best to paint over the grey. Dumbarton, Hearts & Morton were eliminated en route to the Hampden final, in which Hibernian were defeated by two goals to nil. The Herald singled out Jackie Husband and Bill Shankly for praise: “Johnson scored both Thistle goals – one in each half – but it was their half-backs [Husband and Shankly] who were the match-winners. The superior teamwork came from Hibernian, although their forwards never played to form.” The ever-droll George McLachlan of the Sunday Post was a little more critical of the fare on offer, but he too was quick to acknowledge Jackie:

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Never in the history of football conflict has so little been accomplished by so many. The only thrills were in watching Husband’s stupendous throw-ins from touch. That in itself speaks volumes. The Thistle left-half got ample opportunity to demonstrate his prowess, for the ball was as much on the cinders as on the grass. But if those shies please the crowd they accomplish little else. Time and again the ball was chucked well into the penalty area, but for all the use they made of it, Thistle’s forwards appeared to be as awestruck as the spectators.

(You've got to love George!)

Jackie was one of seven ever-presents in that cup winning run, but it was a brilliant effort from the squad of 14 players. Our two guests, Bill Shankly (Preston North End) and Jackie Johnson (Stockport County), served us well in defence and attack. In goals, young Jim Steadward stood 7ft tall by the end, Jimmy McGowan and Peter Curran were rocks at the back, Jackie Husband and Hugh Brown made things happen and Maurice Candlin was always a threat up front. Lifting a national cup at Hampden as club-captain is obviously the stuff of dreams for a Partick Thistle player. In fact, of our 2,000 or so players, only Jackie Husband and Alex Rae have ever done so!

INTERNATIONAL RECOGNITION

At Hamburg
● At Hamburg, 18th Nov 1945. Spot the SAS?

Perhaps as a result of this high profile success, Jackie gained international recognition of sorts, 5 months later. Firstly, the selectors put him on stand-by for the Home International versus Wales (10 November 1945), then he was properly involved, along with teammates Jimmy McGowan & Jimmy Walker, in the party bound for Germany the following week. To cheer up the troops, an "SFA Select" travelled to Germany to play a "British Armed Forces Select". On 17th November 1945, the Scots won 4-2 at Celle in front of 12,000, and drew 1-1 at Hamburg in front of 40,000 the following day. Jackie reportedly played well in both games, and his prospects of winning his first bona-fide senior cap were certainly improved.

A 5-Star Scotsman
● A 5-star Scotsman.
Parachuted
● Parachuted for the trip to Germany are Baird (Aberdeen), Husband & Walker (both Thistle) and Campbell (Clyde).

Jackie could have been forgiven for thinking that the Summer Cup victory with Thistle would have been his ultimate career high but, in April 1946, it was surely bettered. He was back to the scene of last years triumph - Hampden Park - but this time a mammoth 139,468 spectators turned out for the occasion (as opposed to the 27,996 at the Summer Cup final). This was the very first post-war fixture between the auld rivals of Scotland and England. With victories over Wales and Ireland behind them, Scotland needed only a point to secure the championship, and all of this created much excitement and a huge sense of occasion. In the Hampden sun, Jackie put in a 5-star performance; it was said that the half-back line of Campbell, Brennan & Husband drew a zip-fastener right across the road to the Scottish goal. “Nothing succeeds like success” said the Sunday Post. “Husband's early triumphant bouts with Shackleton saw his confidence jump with leaps and bounds.” In the second half, Scotland knocked and knocked (10-2 on corners), but the match remained tensely poised at 0-0 in the 89th minute. Right at that moment, up stepped Jackie for the most glorious moment of his career…

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In the history books it will find it's place among the most dramatic goals on record. The referee had his watch in his hand. A free kick for Scotland just out on the left of England's penalty area. Husband walked up as if this was an end-of-season charity match. Coolness personified. Hampden's throng joined to let him know that this was the final chance. The final chance in our finest hour. The roar was simply deafening. Over came Husband's precision-perfect cross. In came Waddell from nowhere, hurled himself in the air and headed down into the goalmouth. Enter Delaney. Jimmy simply launched himself at that ball and swept it into the net. He [almost] landed in the net too, and so would any English defender who, per chance, had got in his way.
Big moment
● Above; Husband's free-kick is converted by Delaney (#9). Below; up goes the Hampden roar.

The press lapped it up:

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Never has the Triple Crown more worthily adorned the Thistle. They were magnificent. Thrill of the century. Game of the season. Roar of all roars.

For Jackie, it was a moment to treasure, and one that he would never forget: “It was a wonderful one nil victory that day. The thrill of that last-minute Jimmy Delaney goal is one of my greatest football experiences.”

Jackie was back in the dark blue of Scotland the following month, appearing in a 'Victory International' against Switzerland. Scotland won 3-1 in front of 111,899 - the second biggest crowd he'd ever play before. He was getting used to these huge occasions now! At the start of season 1946-47, Jackie was again selected to play against England, this time to raise money for the Bolton Disaster Fund. That day he met up again with Stanley Matthews, as Scotland drew 2-2 in front 70,000 at Maine Road, but these fine details were very much by-the-by. It's estimated that, on 9th March 1946, over 85,000 had crammed into Burnden Park to see Bolton v Stoke in the FA Cup. In the crush which ensued, 33 spectators lost their lives, a scandalous state of affairs.

Jackie's first taste of defeat on men's national duty came a couple of months later, Scotland going down by 3 to 1 in Wales in the British Home Championship. He was close to two further full caps that season, being involved on the day as the "travelling reserve" for the games against Ireland (Hampden, November 1946) and England (Wembley, April 1947).



● Jackie's famous "assist" earned him in a name-check on the Pathé reel.
He appears (#6) momentarily, 39 secs in.

Stanly Matthews
● Ding ding, Stanley Matthews vs. Jackie Husband, round three.

In their infinite wisdom, the SFA deem the Switzerland and Wales matches to be official, but rule out both games against England, so it's a case of two official caps for our man, which, as you've read, doesn't tell half the great story, and misses out the best bit! Jackie's seventh and final mens representative appearance for Scotland came in March, 1947, when he appeared at Hampden for the Scottish League. Another huge turnout of 86,343 bore witness but, alas, the English Football League got the better of him on that occasion, winning by 3 goals to 1. Once again, he was up against the legendary Stanley Matthews that day, but was honest enough to admit that he got a roasting this time around. Willie Miller retired injured for a spell during the second half, and it was Jackie who naturally stood in between the sticks. His old training stood him in good stead and, on a personal level at least, he kept his own clean-sheet. We're claiming this as a moral victory for our man over Sir Stanley!

ALL CHANGE AT FIRHILL

1947-48 table
● PTFC, a record high finish in 1947-48.

Jackie captained Thistle in these initial post-war years and he was really at his peak, for club and country. His final season under Donald Turner - the first "official" post-war season - resulted in a 5th place finish. By May, 1947, 18 years in the hot-seat was enough for the 66-year-old Turner, although the long-serving Thistle manager continued, with aplomb, as secretary and board member. What a great servant to the club he was. Jackie then experienced life under the great David Meiklejohn, and the club were about to embark on one of the most wonderfully consistent periods of high achievement in their history. In that first season, 1947-48, Thistle finished 3rd (9 places above Celtic!), which was their highest-ever placing in Scottish football at that point. Jackie played in 33 competitive games that term, frustratingly his last as a near ever-present.

It was at that point, during the close season of 1948, that Jackie's loyalty to the Partick Thistle cause was truly put to the test. Manager David Meiklejohn received a call from his Kilmarnock counterpart, Alex Hastings. The Ayrshire outfit had just spent a season in the lower Division for the first time in nearly half a century, and their newly appointed gaffer was a man on a mission to remedy that situation… and fast. He was after an experienced player-coach to assist him, and had failed to land former English internationalist Reggie Smith who, co-incidentally, was an ex-Jag from several years earlier. The approach made was very straight forward: “We want an experienced half-back to act as a sort-of player-coach. We're confident that Jackie would fit the bill. What about it?” The Sunday Post of 4th July 1948 takes up the story excellently:

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Davie Meiklejohn nearly fell off his chair. After all, Jackie Husband is not merely a Partick Thistle player. He's looked on more as part and parcel of the fittings at Firhill. Then Davie thought of how Derby County had released Raich Carter, of how other clubs had voluntarily parted with good servants when the move looked like being beneficial to the player's future. So the Thistle manager took the courageous step of giving manager Hastings carte blanche to interview Husband. If the player decided the shift would be in his interests, then Thistle would not stand in his way.

Within 24 hours, the Firhill phone rang. It was Jackie Husband. He thanked Thistle for being considerate, but said he did not wish to play for Kilmarnock - or any other club for that matter of it. He had started off his senior career with Partick Thistle. He hoped he would finish it with them. Naturally, Thistle's manager was delighted. “That's ok with us Jackie” said Mr. Meiklejohn. And, as he hung up, he reckoned he was assuredly making progress in his priority task of making every player on his staff "Partick Thistle minded".

Excellent man-management it has to be said. Meiklejohn's team got younger and stronger as the fifties dawned, just as Jackie's cause was being hampered by injuries. The contracted Jackie wasn't one for idling however, and volunteered his services as coach to the youngsters. Here, we really were starting to get a measure of the man. It seems also that he was already making future plans in his head. In the summer of 1949, he completed a course that he'd been taking at the Royal College of Massage, gaining the degree of M.R.C.M. with honours in physiotherapy.

Dunoon
● Dunoon Stadium, scene of the last hurrah.

By the end of May 1951, Jackie hadn't played in the first team for just over a year, and, just 2 days off his 33rd birthday, the unusual setting of the Dunoon Stadium was the scene of his curtain call as a Thistle player. 2,500 witnessed the 2-1 win over Third Lanark, a game played as part of the "Festival of Britain" series in which footballing contests were being played in weird and wonderful places all over the home countries. The widespread festival as a whole was to commemorate the centenary of the 1851 Great Exhibition, celebrating the arts, culture, science, technology and industrial design talents within these lands. We recall (via The Life And Times Of Firhill Park →) Thistle Chairman Tom Reid on a sightseeing tour of Warsaw in June 1958 while President of the SFA, on being shown Poland’s Academy of Culture and Science… “We also have an academy of Culture and Science in Glasgow. They call it Firhill.

NEW CHALLENGES

For several years, Jackie was closely involved with the reserves as a coach and trainer from the late 40s, initially whilst still a player, getting more and more involved as the decade turned. He was greatly impressed by David Meiklejohn's young stars, and gained a great deal of satisfaction in watching them develop and prosper. He was involved in coaching both the reserves and the first team throughout the 1950s, and lent his expertise as physio as and when required, assisting trainers Arthur Dixon and Adam McLean. The club's great success during the 1950s - always in the top half of the League and in several cup finals - was testament to a well-oiled machine where everyone was pulling in the same "Thistle minded" direction. Both McLean and Husband were Thistle diehards.

All of the staff were shocked and saddened at David Meiklejohn's sudden death from a heart-attack in August 1959. Within the week, the club invited applications for the position of first team manager, and received 24 of them all told. Intriguingly, both McLean and Husband were quoted as possibles. Did Jackie apply? Speculation on other big name candidates included Raich Carter, Andy Beattie, George Young and Dawson Walker. It was McLean, also in the running for the manager's job, who took charge of the first team as caretaker. At some point after Willie Thornton took charge (in September, 1959), McLean became the first man to be described as our assistant manager. From what can be gleaned from press snips, this led to Jackie's position being formalised somewhat (as much as that ever could be with Jackie!), and he became known in the press as the first team trainer as the 1960s progressed.

Trainer
● Jackie Husband, a trainer at the forefront.

In December 1960, rumours started circulating that Jackie was all set to leave his trainer position for a new role as manager of Dumbarton, but idle speculation was all it proved to be: “I'm most annoyed at this suggestion. I would never dream of leaving Thistle for Dumbarton, or any club. I was NOT an applicant for the Dumbarton job.” Was there ever any doubt?

Players welfare and the development of new coaching methods had become his main concern and, as with everything he turned his hand to, he was wholeheartedly committed and extremely able in this field. Again, international recognition was forthcoming, and he became involved with training and aiding the national team. In the likes of Scotland's summer tour of 1963 - in matches against Norway, Ireland & Spain - Jackie worked with players such as Billy McNeill, Jim Baxter, Willie Henderson, Denis Law & Ian St John.

In the summer of 1964, Jackie ventured south to Lilleshall (Shropshire) to attend the English FA's coaching course. He learned a great deal in that fortnight, and had little difficulty in persuading Willie Thornton that a return visit in the summer of 1965 was a great move for all concerned, keeping Thistle's boys at the forefront of the very latest training methods.

INTO MANAGEMENT

More than a quarter-century of service as a Thistle player, coach and trainer were broken in May 1966 when, to everyone's great surprise, Jackie finally succumbed to requests from elsewhere that he give management a go for himself. Perhaps he had secretly longed that such an opportunity might arise at Firhill? Clearly, the directors at Queen of the South thought he had the necessary qualities. This was a great compliment to Jackie, for Queens had narrowly missed out on promotion in each of the last two seasons and harboured serious ambitions of regaining their place at Scottish football's top table.

What a wrench it must have been for him to go against the grain of his natural Thistle-centric instincts hitherto. For weeks after he was appointed, he continued to turn up at Firhill in the morning, making sure everything was prepared properly for his impending departure, before heading off to Dumfries each afternoon for planning talks with the directors and officials at Palmerston. Even at this unexpected juncture, his loyalty and consideration to Partick Thistle remained honest and true.

In his time at Palmerston Park, Jackie worked with decent players such as Allan Ball, Iain McChesney, Jim Kerr, Lex Law and Billy Collings. He finished mid-table with Queens in his first term, which was deemed to be a bit of a disappointment. They finished 2 places above Third Lanark who, sensationally, folded as a club at the end of the campaign. There was improvement the following season as the Doonhamers finished 6th but, in truth, they were well off the promotion pace. In May 1968, Jackie offered his resignation and it was accepted. In a rather old fashioned move, the directors themselves took over and, to be fair, they did further improve results, although to this day they've yet to return to the top flight.

1971
● 26 years on, national cup glory once again for Thistle & Jackie at Hampden, 1971.

Jackie was back home that very summer where he joined Scott Symon's coaching staff, working alongside Davie McParland. He took on the role of physiotherapist in the seasons which followed, doing so until 1971. A recurring theme throughout Jackie's decades of service, was the regard in which he was held by managers of many differing backgrounds, and this very much included Davie McParland, whose inner circle for vital team matters of the day included Jackie as well as Willie Ross and Scot Symon. Jackie would often be dispatched to run the rule over this player and that, and son Norman recalls in particular one trip up to Sauchie to cast the final eye over Alan Hansen. It'd be fair to say they got that one right. Norman further recalls that Jackie was the man Ken Bates (then-owner) would turn to for the lowdown on progress within Firhill's inner sanctum in the mid 1980s. Such was Jackie's nature, he gained the trust of folk he didn't particularly care for! For 20 years from then on, his roles were many and varied as previously described. Occasional physio, driving the bus, sanding the pitch, lending his wisdom, you name it, he did it, anything for the Jags.

THE LEGACY

drawings
● “Blythswood Estate, Gasworks Cottage” & “Blythswood Estate, Main Lodge” by Jackie Husband, 1985.

Away from the football, Jackie was a family man. He and his wife, Madge, raised two children, Norman and Alison. When not serving Thistle on a part-time basis, most of his professional career was spent as a draughtsman, initially at Shieldhall Alexander Stephens near his Renfrew home. He was a keen golfer, and was a member of his hometown club in Renfrew. Wonderfully, his technical drawing skills were put to good use there. A great number of drawings that he made between 1985 and 1992 were put on public display in one of the hallways and it's really very impressive. Thistle fan Andy Earlie, who plays golf at the club, snapped a couple of them in June 2022, as shown. Quite clearly, Jackie's artistry was not confined to matters on the pitch!

It was very strange indeed that a testimonial match was never played for Jackie, but this oversight was rectified in 1988, when the Partick Thistle 800 Club organised “The Jackie Husband Testimonial Dinner Dance” with Allan Stewart in cabaret at The Albany Hotel. £25 per head was a fair sum in those days, but class never did come cheap, now did it? “All true Thistle people will be anxious to honour a man who has given 50 years service to the Jags” said the promotional blurb, and never a truer word was spoken.

Minute's silence
● A minute's silence, 2nd May 1992.

You get a sense of that longevity if you consider that Jackie served Thistle under 18 managers (if you count the caretakers) between 1938 and 1992. Lately, Jackie had been acting as club masseur, but it was planned that he would take his final bow at the crucial home game with Forfar Athletic on 2nd May 1992, a match which was potentially going to seal Thistle's return to the top-flight after some 10 years in the wilderness. That week, it had been business as usual for Jackie who was in and around the club, in his Thistle tracksuit, chatting, advising and freely doing everything he could to aid the cause. John Lambie thought him a superb example to all, and appreciated having him around. Cruelly, fate intervened on the Wednesday, and Jackie suffered a heart-attack at his home in Renfrew. Around 10,000 were at Firhill on the Saturday, and a minute's silence was held before the match. It was nail-biting stuff, but Thistle did the needful; how Jackie would have loved it.

Stadium reconstruction plans were formed in light of the promotion. These were advanced the following year, and the 'Shed' (the east terracing) was demolished in the summer of 1994. In its place rose a new, 6,000 seater stand, and it was a proud day for Jackie's family members who took their place in the newly named 'Jackie Husband Stand' to witness the 2-2 draw with Hibs on the 3rd December, 1994. As fate would have it, an amazing circle was romantically completed that day, Jackie having made his debut, at Firhill, in a 4-0 win over Hibs more than 56 years earlier! In every way, it was a fitting tribute to such a selfless and devoted club legend. Jackie's legacy was further honoured in 2007, when he was inducted into the Partick Thistle Hall of Fame.

drawings
● The opening of 'The Jackie Husband Stand', 3rd December 1994.


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Although Partick Thistle has rarely reached the high spots, the club has the greatest bunch of supporters in the game. I have never wanted to leave Firhill and I never will. I could probably have been with a club where I would have won the prizes, but one thing I do know, I could never have been with a better club than Partick Thistle.


Jackie Husband (1918-1992)


Publishing date An original Thistle Archive publication, 30-Jun-2022.
Latest edit date Latest edit version 30-Jun-2022.





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