Manager Committee

For the timeline overview see our Partickle: The Managerial Comings And Goings →


(Sat-19-Feb-1876 ↔ Tue-04-Aug-1903; 27y,5m,16d)

It seems a bit of a strange concept these days, but almost every club in the nineteenth century picked their eleven via a committee, typically made up of directors and prominent players such as the captain or vice captain. Whilst it's never been clearly stated who and how many men were involved for Thistle, it's known that Scotland's national team typically had a selection committee of seven to ten. Thistle directors probably had some sort of say in team selection all the way to the second world war era, and David Meiklejohn (1947-1959) is likely to be the first bona-fide manager in the modern sense. Scotland's team was picked by committee until 1954 and Queen's Park did likewise until the mid 1970s.

(0y,0m,0d) Sat-19-Feb-1876 [h] W1-0 Valencia (Friendly)
first – last of 928
(27y,3m,0d) Tue-19-May-1903 [h] W1-0 Rangers (Partick Nurses Benefit)


(Sat-01-Apr-1929 ↔ Thu-02-May-1929; 31 days)

Conflicting accounts of the post-Easton aftermath have Tom Galbraith or William Cochrane temporarily “looking after the affairs” of the club, but in any case both men were administrators first and foremost, the former being from a legal background.

(53y,1m,13d) Mon-01-Apr-1929 [a] L0-1 Celtic (SFL First Division - game 34)
first – last of 6
(53y,2m,8d) Sat-27-Apr-1929 [a] W5-2 Third Lanark (SFL First Division - game 38)

There's no supporting evidence to say that these men had any direct involvement in team matters and, in reality, the team was still being picked by committee, so, with all of this in mind, the April 1929 period is best described as the second spell for the collective.


(Sat-22-Aug-1959 ↔ Thu-24-Sep-1959; 33 days)

It seems to be top-secret who was actually picking the team in the aftermath of Meiklejohn's untimely death, although we reckon trainer Adam McLean would almost certainly have had some involvement in that regard during this interim period. Our 60-year-old ex-player was the only one in the press quoted in team matters, albeit he was talking about injuries, and this was, after all, one of his regular remits. His name did crop up as a possible new manager, but without any firm contemporary evidence to back him up as official caretaker, it's probably best labelling this as the third spell for a “committee”, even if may not have been as formal as it was in the days of old.

(83y,6m,7d) Wed-26-Aug-1959 [h] L0-2 Celtic (League Cup Section 1 - game 5)
first – last of 7
(83y,7m,0d) Sat-19-Sep-1959 [a] L2-5 Aberdeen (SFL First Division - game 4)

Willie Thornton would be the new man.

Comparison (Competitive)
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Comparison (Top-Flight)
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Comparison (2nd/3rd Tier)
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Comparison (The Cups)
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