John Hansen
John Hansen
John Hansen
● John Hansen, 1970 (HA)

born in Scotland

John Angus McDonald Hansen was born on Friday, 3rd February, 1950, in Bridge of Allan, Stirlingshire.

The 5' 10 (10st 13lbs) defender signed for Willie Thornton's Thistle on Tuesday, 17th October, 1967, having most recently been with Sauchie.

Aged 18, he made his debut appearance on Wednesday, 28th February, 1968, in a 3-0 win at home to Raith Rovers in the SFL First Division.

John scored his first goal for Thistle on Wednesday, 28th August, 1968, in a 2-1 defeat away to Rangers in the League Cup.

He scored the last of his 15 goals on Saturday, 6th August, 1977, in a 4-1 friendly win away to Ross County.

He played his last game for the club on Monday, 31st July, 1978, in a 3-1 defeat away to East Kilbride Thistle in a Benefit match, having clocked up an impressive 325 appearances as a Jag.

John's club-list included Sauchie and Partick Thistle.

Bio Extra

John played as a right-back or centre-half. He attended a rugby-playing school (Alloa Academy) and only began to play football as a teenager, joining local club Sauchie Juniors before being brought to Firhill. Between 1968 and 1978 he played 297 competitive games as a Jag, scoring 10 goals in the process.

John was part of the Thistle team that was relegated in 1970, promoted as Second Division winners in 1971 and then defeated Celtic 4–1 in the 1971 Scottish League Cup Final. Scotland manager Tommy Docherty was a great admirer of McParland's babes and, within weeks, John was capped for Scotland, appearing in a European Championship Qualifier at Pittodrie, Belgium being defeated by one goal to nil.

In May '72, the victorious League Cup squad toured the far east as John explained to the Telegraph in 2006:

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The spring after the cup final, an old England international arranged for us to go on a post-season tour to the Far East, either for a share of the gate receipts or first class all the way. Thinking Thistle wouldn't be much of a draw in Indonesia or Malaysia, David McParland grabbed the first-class option and to be fair, it was Krug champagne and luxury all the way. In Jakarta we were due to play Lokomotiv Plovdiv, or someone like that, which we imagined would attract a crowd of about 200, so it came as something of a surprise when we arrived at the stadium to be greeted by 60,000 Indonesian fitba' fans. Our 'benefactor' had billed the game as Scotland versus Bulgaria. ''We then played the Indonesian and Malaysian national teams before stopping off in Athens, where we played Olympiakos and where, when our tour organiser was stopped at customs and had to open his suitcase, we found it stuffed with readies. There must have been £30,000 stashed away. Not many people put one over on Davie McParland.

The following month John - along with his cup final mates Alan Rough, Jimmy Bone and Alex Forsyth - travelled with Scotland to Brazil to take part in the Independence Cup. He won his second and final cap there, featuring in the 2-2 draw with Yugoslavia. In 2020, he spoke to the Scotsman about it:

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We touched down in Rio in our Scotland blazers and there were three pipers on the tarmac to greet us. Winning the League cup was great but I’m old-school and country will always top club. That moment, in the home of the world champions, was my all-time greatest. The sublime would immediately be followed by the ridiculous; Lou Macari asked if we’d take a load of cigars through customs for him. We were new and eager to impress but we got stopped. The incident made the papers, although it obviously wasn’t as serious as Bobby Moore being accused of stealing that 
bracelet.

The tournament was celebrating
the 150th anniversary of Brazil’s independence and billed as a mini-World Cup. It was big-time with Denis Law getting breakfast in bed every morning, served by the physio. We played a great 2-2 draw against Yugoslavia although their fabulous winger [Dragan] Dzajic sold me so many dummies I had to pay my way back in 13 times. Then with the Maracana half-empty – only 100,000 watching – we needed a point against Brazil to reach the final only for Jairzinho to score late. At the end of any trip it was customary for the SFA top brass and their wives to have their bags put on the bus by the players but the Doc put a stop to that. It was a real pity that Scotland didn’t have him as boss for longer.

John played alongside his younger brother, Alan Hansen, for four seasons, during which the club were relegated due to league restruction in 1975, but bounced back as second-tier champions in 1976 and finished fifth in the 1976–77 Scottish Premier Division. 4,068 were at Firhill on the cold Tuesday night of 30th November, 1976, and they bore witness to John heading in a last-minute winner in the League clash with Hearts. Alan had headed Thistle into the lead in the same net 40 minutes earlier. “Hats off to the Hansens” said the Evening Times! To this day, this brotherly double stands uniquely as a one-off occurrence in Partick Thistle's near 150 year history.

Persistent knee injuries dogged John's career, with various operations on his cartilage and cruciate ligament ending the possibility of a move to Manchester United, robbing him of the chance to compete in Europe following the League Cup win, and eventually forcing his retirement from playing aged just 28.

Following his retirement as a player, Hansen spent some time working for Partick Thistle as the club's public relations officer. In his personal life, John was married to Sandra Ann. He became a father of two and joined Abbey National, rising to the rank of regional manager, 
running 200 branches and keeping offices open during Northern 
Ireland’s Troubles, despite bombings and one of his cashiers being kidnapped!

(WS)



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