Manager John Lambie

John Lambie
For the timeline overview see our Partickle: The Managerial Comings And Goings →; see also: John Lambie (opposition manager) →
John Lambie
● John Lambie, 2002 (PTFC)

born in Scotland

John McCready Lambie was born on Sunday, 2nd March, 1941, in Whitburn, West Lothian. He had a record four spells as Firhill gaffer; three times as manager and one as caretaker.


(Thu-10-Nov-1988 ↔ Tue-31-Oct-1989; 355 days)

An approach was made to John Lambie whilst Billy Lamont was in his last faltering weeks, but the Hamilton gaffer turned it down. Several weeks later, the Thistle directors went back with an improved offer to Lambie, and this time it was accepted, Gerry Collins having played a key role in persuading his pal to join him at Firhill. He seemed to be the first since Bertie Auld to have the magic touch, and Thistle's on-field fortunes took a long-awaited turn for the better.

(47y,8m,10d) Sat-12-Nov-1988 [h] L1-2 Forfar Athletic (SFL First Division - game 14)
first – last of 49
(48y,7m,26d) Sat-28-Oct-1989 [a] L1-2 St Johnstone (SFL First Division - game 13)

It was, therefore, with great sadness to all at Thistle when the ambitious Hamilton Accies tempted him back to Douglas Park, less than a year later. Lambie seen the move as important for his financial security, and bought into the vision of the new Accies at a new ground, and “a job for life” for himself. He was appointed onto the board at Douglas Park.


(Mon-05-Mar-1990 ↔ Wed-09-Aug-1995; 5y,5m,4d)

Chairman Jim Donald worked some kinda miracle in persuading Lambie to return to Firhill in March, 1990. Financially, it was the biggest offer ever made to a Partick Thistle manager, but it turned out to be money well spent as Thistle finally climbed their way back to the top flight after 10 years in the wilderness. The legendary managerial partnership between Lambie & Collins was re-united, and the good time vibe was evident throughout the club and the fanbase.

(49y,0m,12d) Wed-14-Mar-1990 [h] W4-1 Hamilton Academical (SFL First Division - game 31)
first – last of 263
(54y,4m,20d) Sat-22-Jul-1995 [h] L1-2 Zagreb (Intertoto Cup Group 6 - game 4)

Just as season 1995-96 had begun, Lambie was head-hunted by Falkirk chairman George Fulston as the replacement for Jim Jeffries who was heading for Tynecastle. Surprisingly, our man agreed to the switch, this time taking Gerry Collins with him as assistant.


(Tue-09-Mar-1999 ↔ Sat-24-May-2003; 4y,2m,15d)

John Lambie hadn't managed since he was run out of Brockville by the hostile fans in season 1995-96. Since then, Thistle had plummeted to a relegation battle in the third tier. The two found each other again in March, 1999, and, while it was a little strained at first, they survived the rocky reconciliation. Things were so bad that a mid-table finish in the following season's third tier was considered progress, and this rebuilding season was soon gloriously maximised with back-to-back titles and a succesful return to the top flight in 2002-03.

(58y,0m,11d) Sat-13-Mar-1999 [h] L0-1 Clyde (SFL Second Division - game 29)
first – last of 198
(62y,2m,22d) Sat-24-May-2003 [a] W3-2 Hibernian (Scottish Premier League - game 38)

Before that season was out, it was announced that the 62-year-old Lambie would be retiring and that assistant Gerry Collins would be the natural successor. They flirted with the idea of making the changeover as the season was in-play, but on second thoughts this was considered too risky and the changing of the guard came at the end of the season, after a relaxed 3-2 win at Easter Road. Up until a few days before the game, Lambie still wasn't sure whether or not he would take the dressing room and said he would see how he felt on the day. As it turned out, Gerry took the team, whilst Lambie swanned around all over Easter Road shaking hands, chatting to everybody and posing for photies. Stats wise, we class the game as Lambie's on the grounds that he was still the gaffer, figuratively and contractually. Sorry Gerry - great win though!


(Mon-20-Dec-2004 ↔ Tue-04-Jan-2005; 15 days)

John Lambie got the Cavalry clarion for the fourth (and final) time just before Christmas 2004, and took charge for three games. Seemingly, a relaxing retirement with his pigeons was not to be for the gaffer, who was apoplectic at what he witnessed on his return, branding the class of 2004 as “brainless and lazy”, before adding the immortal line “this team couldn't turn over a pancake”. If he was self-aware he didn't let on, and in his own inimitable style he added “we're all in it together.” How we'd missed him.

(63y,9m,25d) Mon-27-Dec-2004 [a] L1-2 Ross County (SFL First Division - game 20)
first – last of 3
(63y,9m,30d) Sat-01-Jan-2005 [a] D1-1 St Mirren (SFL First Division - game 22)

It was hoped that the next man in, Dick Campbell, would be cut from the same cloth.

Lambie was in charge of Thistle for 513 games in total, as well as managing at Hamilton Academical (1984-1988; 1989-1990) and Falkirk (1995-1996).

John died on Tuesday, 10th April, 2018, in Edinburgh, aged 77.

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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