Promotions (and relegations)

Promotions (11): 1897; 1900; 1902; 1971; 1976; 1992; 2001; 2002; 2006; 2013; 2021
Relegations (11): 1899; 1901; 1970; 1975; 1982; 1996; 1998; 2004; 2005; 2018; 2020
promotions/relegations to/from the top-flight are emboldened



Sat-17-Apr-1897 [h] W2-0 Kilmarnock (SFL Second Division - game 17)

First title sealed. Although no “election zone” was pre-determined, this really made it a formality that Thistle would at least make it onto the ballot paper. Promotion comfirmed via election at the League AGM on 1st June, 1897.

mh-manager.png Committee



Sat-17-Dec-1898 [h] L1-3 Third Lanark (SFL First Division - game 16)

This defeat left Thistle 7 points behind St Bernard's with 3 to play, and a place in the bottom two was assured, meaning that Thistle would, almost certainly, be up for re-election for the third season in a row. Relegation confirmed via election at the League AGM on 30th May, 1899.

mh-manager.png Committee



Sat-03-Feb-1900 [h] W2-1 Motherwell (SFL Second Division - game 16)

An all-important Top 2 finish would be confirmed a whole month later as Motherwell lost 4-2 to Accies at Douglas Park, leaving them 9 behind with 4 to play. By virtue of having finished in the Top Two, Thistle were cordially invited to apply for election to the First Division. A dramatic round of voting on 16th May, 1900, left Thistle and Clyde tied for the vital placing, which resulted in Thistle becoming the only side in the SFL ever to have been promoted by the drawing of lots.

mh-manager.png Committee



Sat-05-Jan-1901 [h] L1-2 Morton (SFL First Division - game 18)

Bottom two place confirmed, meaning Thistle would almost certainly be in the re-election ballot. Relegation confirmed via election at the League AGM on 30th May, 1901.

mh-manager.png Committee



Sat-05-Apr-1902 [a] D2-2 Hamilton Academical (SFL Second Division - game 22)

Top two place confirmed on the last day of the season, meaning Thistle would almost certainly be in the re-election ballot. Thistle succesfully lobbied for an increase from 10 to 12 clubs in the top-flight, and therefore the election of the Top 2 (Port Glasgow Athletic and Partick Thistle) was ratified without opposition at the League's AGM on 19th May, 1902.

mh-manager.png Committee



Wed-08-Apr-1970 [h] L1-2 Morton (SFL First Division - game 32)

It was pretty much all over beforehand, but the first relegation in 69 years was mathematically confirmed on this night. Mixed emotions for debutants Rough (18) & McQuade (19) as a first half lead was turned over, before Charlie Smith saw red. Out with the old, in with the new.

mh-manager.png Scot Symon / Davie McParland



Sat-10-Apr-1971 [h] D1-1 Arbroath (SFL Second Division - game 32)

8,851 saw promotion clinched with 4 games to spare. An early Rae header was cleared off the line then Coulston hit the post. Thistle found 3rd top Arbroath's defence stubborn but Coulston scored after a brilliant passing move (35). The visitors never gave up and they spoiled the party (85) when Rough fumbled a shot.

mh-manager.png Davie McParland



Sat-19-Apr-1975 [h] D0-0 St Johnstone (SFL First Division - game 33)

Thistle gave their all as luck deserted them but St Johnstone (who made the cut) had loads of it. Thistle hit the woodwork 3 times and had 4 efforts cleared off the line. They were streets ahead of St Johnstone but couldn't find the net. Failure to finish in the Top 10 was confirmed, and life in the new 2nd tier beckoned.

mh-manager.png Bertie Auld



Sat-31-Jan-1976 [h] D0-0 Dumbarton (SFL First Division - game 23)

Cultured play was never likely on the rock-hard surface as the players struggled to keep their feet. Both keepers had fine saves - mainly from long distance - but Rough had a magnificent save when going the wrong way he managed to keep out a header. Promotion guaranteed in January!

mh-manager.png Bertie Auld



Sat-15-May-1982 [h] L1-2 Dundee United (SFL Premier Division - game 36)

Behind (7), Park (Thistle's best player) equalised (29). It could have been 4 or 5 in the 2nd half but only 1 was scored (72, with MacKinnon trying to play off-side). Unknown at the time, 10 years in the lower reaches began. Relegated. 35 goals in 36 matches. It wouldn't have mattered as Dundee won anyway.

mh-manager.png Peter Cormack



Sat-02-May-1992 [h] D0-0 Forfar Athletic (SFL First Division - game 44)

9,959 saw a jittery performance. Thistle had most of the pressure but finishing was poor. A challenge by Duffy in the last few mins had Forfar (already relegated) howling for a pen. Sharp intake of breath, but all was well. After 10 seasons, promotion by goal difference of 2 over Hamilton, a point behind Dundee.

mh-manager.png John Lambie



Thu-16-May-1996 [a] L1-2 Dundee United (Scottish Premier Division/First Division play-off, 2nd leg)
United won 3-2 on aggregate

McWilliams went close early on but Walker's fine saves kept it 0-0 at h-t. United pressure continued but Cameron's pen (72) put Thistle ahead. Thistle were denied a stonewall pen, then 40 secs from the end then United scored with a header when Watson dithered. A tap-in by O Coyle finally relegated Thistle (115).

mh-manager.png Murdo MacLeod



Sat-09-May-1998 [h] L1-3 Ayr United (SFL First Division - game 36)

A win would have saved Thistle and relegated Ayr. MacDonald mishit a free-kick straight to an Ayr player who ran on and scored (22). Evans equalised with a header just on h-t but 2 fine goals (56 and 90) saw Ayr safe and Thistle relegated, 2 points from safety. McVeigh was sacked 15 May. Could things get any worse?

mh-manager.png John McVeigh



Sat-31-Mar-2001 [a] W3-0 Stirling Albion (SFL Second Division - game 31)

Promotion guaranteed. Lindau scored with a poacher's strike at a corner (4) for a h-t lead. A 20-yard run and shot (61) and a shot on the turn (79) completed his hat-trick. Thistle dominated the match and the final whistle triggered the celebrations. Albion (who had a man sent off at 2-0) were relegated.

mh-manager.png John Lambie



Sat-13-Apr-2002 [a] W2-0 St Mirren (SFL First Division - game 34)

Champions! McCulloch headed the opener from a Burns corner (22). After the break Cameron hit the bar then, set up by McLean, Fleming scored from close in, breaking his leg in the process (51). St Mirren never looked like spoiling the party and Thistle saw the game out to take the title, and the single promotion place on offer. Deflated and beaten, nearest challengers Airdrionians went out of business a month later.

mh-manager.png John Lambie



Sat-24-Apr-2004 [h] L0-1 Dundee (Scottish Premier League - game 34)

A poor game. Both teams knocked the ball about aimlessly for long spells. 4 motionless defenders watched as the Dundee scorer waltzed past them to score the only goal (71). Defeat confirmed Thistle would finish bottom. [They were not officially relegated until 8 July when it was confirmed ICT could be promoted.]

mh-manager.png Gerry Collins / Derek Whyte & Gerry Britton



Sat-23-Apr-2005 [h] W1-0 Clyde (SFL First Division - game 34)

Oné missed 2 early chances. Clyde hit the bar from 25 yards then again from 6 yards but against the run of play the Clyde keeper fumbled a 25-yarder from McConalogue (43) but he had some magnificent saves in the 2nd half. The win wasn't enough but they went down fighting. Consecutive relegations confirmed.

mh-manager.png Derek Whyte & Gerry Britton / John Lambie / Dick Campbell



Sun-14-May-2006 [a] W2-1* Peterhead (Scottish First Division play-off Final, 2nd leg)
* AET (2-1 90 mins); 3-3 on aggregate; Thistle won 4-2 on pens

Peterhead went 1-up (5) but Roberts scored (swivel and shot, 8). Peterhead hit woodwork twice and missed a sitter before a 25-yard free-kick from Gibson (B) (90+) took the tie to goalless ET. Ritchie netted the final pen. A win v Peterhead at last and promotion the hard way.

mh-manager.png Dick Campbell



Sat-20-Apr-2013 [a] W2-0 Falkirk (SFL First Division - game 34)

Champions! Thistle had most of the game and were comfortable. Forbes hit the post with a free-kick (35). A bullet header by Dowie from a corner (50) sent the crowd wild. Falkirk hit the face of the bar then a marvellous run from half-way and shot by Erskine sealed it (78). Cue the conga!

mh-manager.png Jackie McNamara / Alan Archibald



Sun-20-May-2018 [h] L0-1 Livingston (SPFL Premiership play-off Final, 2nd leg)
Livingston won 3-1 on aggregate

Thistle's “passing game” was devoid of penetration and guile. A sweeping shot (46) signalled 2 banks of 5 to form and yet more time-wasting. Livingston absorbed everything thrown at them. Thistle didn't trouble the keeper and Sammon's penalty was saved (90). Relegation confirmed. Worse than dreadful.

mh-manager.png Alan Archibald



Tue-10-Mar-2020 [h] D1-1 Dunfermline Athletic (SPFL Championship - game 27)

As it transpired, a win here would have saved Thistle from relegation, although no-one knew that at the time. Bannigan's pen was saved (19) and Rudden hit the bar just on h-t as Thistle dominated possession and chances. Time-wasting Pars scored with their only shot on target (poor marking at a corner, 72) but Graham's header (90+4) was the least Thistle deserved. Thistle were now 2 points behind Queen of the South with a game in hand, but the pandemic stopped play on Friday the 13th, with 9 games still to play. The other clubs voted to call the season on a points-per-game basis, a move which forced Thistle down into the third tier. Relegation was confirmed by vote on the 15th April, 2020.

mh-manager.png Gary Caldwell / Gerry Britton, Scott Allison & Kenny Miller / Ian McCall



Thu-29-Apr-2021 [h] W5-0 Falkirk (SPFL League One - game 21)

Champions! After 13 games in 40 days, Falkirk were taken apart by Rudden's glancing header (30), a Tiffoney strike (32), Graham's glorious 20-yarder (41), a move that began deep in the left-back position finished off by Graham 5 passes/15 seconds later (59) and Cardle tapping in Penrice's smothered shot at the post (72).

mh-manager.png Ian McCall


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