The Day The Scottish Cup Came Up To Maryhill

by William Sheridan



Heart of Midlothian 0 Clyde 0 (26,000)

On the night when Hearts and Clyde were battling it out for a place in the last 16, the SFA met in Glasgow, the main purpose of which was to conduct the draws for the latest rounds of the Scottish Cup. Normally, such an event would cause the greatest excitement of the evening, but a letter from Ayr council resulted in the Cup draws being demoted to co-billing status in press headlines.

In a recent visit to Ayr by the Rangers, it was explained, vandalism and public disorder in the town centre, as well as the Somerset Park ground, gave great cause for concern. A discussion took place regarding the measures which should be adopted to prevent such disorderly conduct in and around football grounds in general, and the blame was squarely placed on the brake clubs which had become popular with boisterous youths in recent years. Both motor and horse-drawn charabancs were still in operation at this time, but the anti-social behaviour of certain individuals, usually fuelled by alcohol, meant that the reputation of such clubs was in ruins. Tribal tales of banner capture and desecration were commonly attributed to the Old Firm; I've never seen such a report connected to Thistle. Ultimately, the SFA concluded that the matter was largely outside their authority, but the clubs were anxiously requested to refuse admission to any persons carrying flags or banners, and to prevent known delinquents from entering their grounds. In time, the double whammy of pressure from authorities and the expansion of the railway network soon contributed to the rapid decline of the brake clubs, if not hooliganism, but that's quite another story for another day.

This draw was a real ifs, buts or maybes affair, covering as it did the rounds of both the last 16 and the last 8 in one fell swoop. Yes, Partick Thistle were in the hat for the Scottish Cup Quarter Finals, despite sitting on a club-record run of 6 games without a goal. It strikes me that Partick Thistle are the only club in world football capable of such utterly mad statistics!

Dundee v Aberdeen
East Fife or Stevenston United v Celtic
Armadale or Bo'ness v Albion Rovers
Rangers v Clydebank or Alloa Athletic
Hamilton Academicals v Heart of Midlothian or Clyde
Ayr United v Motherwell
East Stirlingshire v Partick Thistle or Hibernians
Dumbarton v Nithsdale Wanderers
● ties to be played on 19th February

Undoubtedly, the tit-bit of the third round is the tie in which Dundee and Aberdeen will be in opposition at Dens Park. Supporters of the Aberdeen club would have been better pleased had their team had the good fortune to be drawn at home, but they are not all dissatisfied with the draw, and, considering that their team has already knocked out Kilmarnock, the cup holders, on the latter's pitch, there is good ground for their confidence in the ability of the Pittodrie team to win, or at least draw. It can be taken that both teams will be stretched to the utmost.

Celtic are asked to travel to Stevenston or Methil, and it cannot be said that in either place is there any great danger of their succumbing. Fortune has been with the Rangers, as at Ibrox they should be equal to disposing of Alloa Athletic or Clydebank. First League clubs will be in opposition at Hamilton, where the Academicals will have a dour struggle with the winner of Clyde v Hearts undecided tie. For the third time, Ayr United are drawn at home, on this occasion, their opponents being the clever Motherwell team, and it should be a great tussle. The survivors of the Hibernian - Partick Thistle tie are due at Bainsford, where East Stirlingshire will give them a hard game. Dumbarton at home should have no difficulty in overcoming Nithsdale Wanderers. (ADJ)

Dundee or Aberdeen v Bo'ness or Albion Rovers or Armadale
Stevenston United or East Fife or Celtic v Hamilton Academicals or Clyde or Heart of Midlothian
Dumbarton or Nithsdale Wanderers v Rangers or Alloa Athletic or Clydebank
Ayr United or Motherwell v East Stirlingshire or Hibernians or Partick Thistle
● ties to be played on 5th March

There are great possibilities about the fourth round draw. Aberdeen will have a special incentive to get over the Dundee hurdle, as with Bo'ness, Armadale or Albion Rovers at Pittodrie they would stand a good chance of reaching the semi-final. Indications are that in each of the four ties, the issue will be fought out between Scottish League clubs. (ADJ)

And so, potentially, there were two more away days for Thistle's charabanc conveners to pencil in to their diaries! Being faced with away ties is never ideal in the Scottish Cup, but Thistle fans would not be guilty of far-fetched thinking were they to imagine that their team could be one of the four left standing after the dust had settled.




Scotland 2 Wales 1 (British Home Championship - game 1)

Many incredible things happened for the Jags in 1921, not least of which was a new milestone in terms of recognition from the selection committee down Mount Florida way. 20,824 were at Pittodrie, where THREE Partick Thistle players lined up in the national first eleven, as Scotland got their Home Championship campaign off to a winning start. In goals, Kenny Campbell gained the further distinction of becoming just the second Jagsman to captain his country, following on from Neilly Gibson, 16 years earlier. Proud Kenny is pictured on the day, leading his fellow Scots from the old Pittodrie pavillion. Joe Harris at right half won his first cap and Jimmy McMullan at left half earned the second of his sixteen caps.

A 25-yard free-kick from Dufermline's Andy Wilson gave Scotland an early lead, which was surrendered on the half hour mark. Campbell didn't deal well with the drooping centre which led to Wales goal, but otherwise acquitted himself extremely well. Harris looked nervous in his first cap, but got the better of his man as the game wore on. McMullan coped, but wasn't at his best, and would need to raise his game for England, if selected. Wilson clinched it for Scotland, capitalizing on a rebound within a minute of the restart.


I should have saved that one goal against; should have tipped it over the bar. However, we won, and I think deservedly, for I didn't get many hot ones to hold. Those two that hit the crossbar and the post in the first half, well, I never saw them! ~ Kenny Campbell (SP)


Partick Thistle 4 Morton 0 (SFL - game 31)

It was a much depleted Partick Thistle which took to the field on this day, showing 8 changes all told. As well as three of our star men being engaged at Pittodrie on international duty, Bulloch, McMenemy & Bowie were being rested ahead of Tuesday's second replay with Hibs. Scotland’s weirdest football team, who, let us remember, at full strength hadn't been able to muster up a single goal in the preceding 6 games, suddenly found themselves in great scoring form.

Adding to the madness, in the absence of Kenny Campbell, 'Daft' Rab Bernard (pictured) truly seized his opportunity to shine – not only did he keep the team's clean-sheet record-run going, but he served up his old penalty kick routine for the Firhill faithful to enjoy! In a fast-paced game, Thistle were always in control with goals from Bob McFarlane (first half), Matt Wilson (first half) and Jimmy Kinloch (second half) settling matters long before the memorable finale.

Close on time, Thistle were awarded a penalty for handball. Up stepped the bold Rab to take it! It is reported that his kick was “safely converted”. With this act, he wrote himself into the Thistle history books as the only goalkeeper to have scored for Partick Thistle whilst on-duty between the sticks. I can find no press reports which seem to think this was anything unusual. Somewhat matter-of-factly the Sunday Post noted: “Morton were at Firhill yesterday, and before 15,000 people got soundly whacked by a depleted Thistle side. Bernard was safe in everything he did, and he scored a goal.

Strange happenings aside, this result kept Thistle as the third placed team in Scotland. We could now look forward to Tuesday afternoon’s replay in great spirits. These were happy days for George Easton’s Jags – dafties and all!

Clydebank 0 Alloa Athletic 0 (7,000)
Armadale 2 Bo'ness 0 (8,000)
East Fife 2 Stevenston United 1 (6,000)

sc-1921-badge.png Scottish Cup Winners 1921

back: Sandy Lister (trainer), Willie Hamilton, Tom Crichton, Kenny Campbell, Jimmy McMenemy, Matt Wilson, John Bowie, Watty Borthwick.
middle: David Johnstone, Jimmy Kinloch, Joe Harris, Willie Bulloch, Jimmy McMullan, Bob McFarlane.
front: John Blair, Willie Salisbury.


Publishing date An original Thistle Archive publication, 09-Feb-2021.
Latest edit date Latest edit version 02-Apr-2021.

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