The Day The Scottish Cup Came Up To Maryhill

by William Sheridan
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MATCH DAY ELEVEN - THE FINAL!

Celtic Park
● The scene, the kits, the Cup (BP/HK)

Thistle v Rangers preview

McMenemy aside, things had looked reasonably good in yesterday's papers, but that was old news on Cup Final morning. George Easton and co. didn't have their problems to seek, with two cornerstones of the revered half-back line ruling themselves out of the big game. Left-half Jimmy McMullan had picked up an ankle knock last week against England but we hadn't let on publically since then. The tactical silence couldn't diguise the fact that he was still hobbling, and simply couldn't play. Willie Hamilton had recovered from his knock in the Accies game last Friday, but he wasn't in the best of health these days, and illness ruled him out. What a blow for Thistle, and for the two players.

The experienced Watty Borthwick (who had stood in for at left back for Willie Bulloch last Friday) moved up to take Jimmy McMullan's place at left half, whilst young Matt Wilson (who had given right half Joe Harris a rest last Friday) moved over to take Willie Hamilton's slot at centre half. Just as Hamilton and McMullan would have been gutted, Borthwick and Wilson would have been thrilled. What an opportunity. There were three expected changes from the 1-0 loss at Hamilton, with Willie Bulloch, Joe Harris and David Johnstone taking their usual places, at the expense of Willie Hamilton, Fred MacLachlan and Andrew Kerr. To say this upheaval was far from ideal would be an understatement, for it was that half-back line which had taken Thistle to where they were, providing dig and drive at the very heart of the battle.

The word yesterday was that Alex Lauder was going to get the nod ahead of Jimmy McMenemy at inside left, but how would this sit in light of this morning's grim news? We can only imagine at some of the conversations which took place, but we get a sense that the directors were seriously worried about the prospects, with too many fringe boys and not enough of the big game players. These are the moments when leaders of men step up, and it was 40-year-old Jimmy McMenemy who made the call for himself, doing so with such determined confidence that it couldn't have failed to galvanize the whole camp. Napoleon had played this part many times before, and the six times Scottish Cup gold medallist would lead the way. Today, he would sacrifice his scientific forward play for a more tactical, combative role, paying particular attention to Andy Cunningham. If he could win that battle, he would greatly reduce the effectiveness of the Rangers frontline.

As advertised, Rangers were at full strength right enough, making three changes from the side which had drawn at Easter Road last Saturday. Tom Reid, Alex Johnstone and Hector Lawson made way for the returning international trio of Billy McCandless, Andy Cunningham and Alan Morton.

A light breeze blew across the pitch, which was hard and conducive to fast play. Leg weariness was a fairly general complaint in the game right now, and a sudden change to dry, fast pitches, after a long spell of sodden grounds, was very welcome, especially for our older boys such as Bulloch and McMenemy.

The press had Thistle beat before the game, sure, only Celtic had defeated Rangers this term, but the Ibrox side weren't entirely invincible. They had drawn their last three League games, thereby passing up the opportunity to go into the final as mathematical champions. They had been held at home to Alloa earlier in the competition. They had bottled it in last year's semi final against Albion Rovers. They had, in fact, been bottling it in the Scottish Cup for many years. Their last success actually came at Celtic Park, but that was 18 years ago.

And let's not underestimate the fact that Celtic Park was the spiritual home of our Jimmy McMenemy; Jimmy and Thistle had already tasted victory there on match day three. And we were the team who had just set a tournament record of seven clean-sheets. And we did have Scotland's number one between the sticks, one of the best half-back masters in Joe Harris, and dangerous raiders such as Salisbury, Kinloch and Blair who, on their day, could torment the best defenders in the land.

For these reasons and more, the thinking Partick Thistle fan would not be without hope today. The most strenuous campaign in Scottish Cup history was coming to an end. A rush and a push and that old trophy is ours. Come on Thistle.

ELEVEN LEGENDS IN THE MAKING

Emerging from the pavillion are: Bulloch, Campbell, Crichton (1/4) ● Borthwick, Harris (2/4) ● McMullan, Johnstone, Wilson (3/4) ● McMenemy, Blair, Salisbury (4/4)

competition-2.png Scottish Cup Final
ft.png Partick Thistle 1 Rangers 0
date.png Saturday, 16th April, 1921
crowd.png 28,294 @ Celtic Park
goal.png John Blair (1-0, 20 mins)
partick-thistle.png Kenny Campbell, Tom Crichton, Willie Bulloch, Joe Harris, Matt Wilson, Watty Borthwick, John Blair, Jimmy Kinloch, David Johnstone, Jimmy McMenemy, Willie Salisbury
rangers.png Rangers: Willie Robb, Bert Manderson, Billy McCandless, Davie Meiklejohn, Arthur Dixon, James Bowie, Sandy Archibald, Andy Cunningham, Geordie Henderson, Tommy Cairns, Alan Morton
mh-referee.png H. Humphrey (Greenock)
scmd11.jpg
HOW PARTICK THISTLE WON THE SCOTTISH CUP
IBROX MEN LOSE CONFIDENCE AGAINST DOGGED DEFENCE
Willie Maley external-link.png, 17th April, 1921, Sunday Post

My heartiest congratulations must go to Partick Thistle. Never at any time has the Firhill team been a strong fancy of mine in the Cup ties, and, whilst it always tickles the sporting palate to see the giants of the game go under, I was not one of those who really seriously considered that the Rangers would be ousted by the Thistle in the Scottish Cup final. I don't suppose there were many who did. Even in the Firhill camp there was chiefly that hope of putting up a game fight, with an off chance of a surprise victory — you never know what might happen in football kind of feeling!

And when, before the match, it was announced that the Thistle would be without the services of their international half-back, McMullan, owing, I understand, to a sprained ankle, and Hamilton, their stalwart centre half, due to illness, the comparatively few optimists were inclined to admit that chances of the Scottish Cup going to Firhill were indeed remote.

THE RANGERS' GREAT DISAPPOINTMENT

Well well, the big surprise came right enough, and Partick Thistle, by their odd goal victory, made tremendous history in Scottish football, and also deprived the Rangers of the honour, for which they so strenuously fought, of winning the League Championship and the Scottish Cup — a dual distinction which, I might add with pardonable pride, the Celtic has achieved three times. And whilst my congratulations go to the Thistle, my sympathies must be extended to the vanquished. They have during the season performed extremely well in the way of point collecting, and on form should have made the Scottish Cup quite secure for Ibrox Park this season.

I am sure, however, that, notwithstanding their disappointment, the Rangers' players will not grudge the Thistle men their honour, if only for the plucky defence which they put up — and a defence of weakened forces, remember. I know that Andy Cunningham was quite ready to admit the value of the opposing defence. Indeed, after the match he spoke to me in high terms of the work of the Thistle defenders.

WHY THE RANGERS LOST

Candidly, my opinion was that the Rangers beat themselves. Taking a general review of their display, they never really properly settled to their own game. I know that during the first twenty minutes they had practically all the play in attacking, following combined efforts, interspersed with clever individual efforts; that several powerfully-driven shots by Cunningham and Archibald were blocked — a shade luckily — by Crichton and Bulloch, and that a score by the Rangers looked very imminent, but, although many folk considered that the Ibrox van was showing its best form, my opinion was that they were playing too closely, and, still further, they persisted in playing the ball high.

CAIRNS' MISS

Then, in my judgment, Tommy Cairns missed a very good chance when a ball came well over from Meiklejohn. He was nicely placed, close in, and, I think, should have scored. And then, after all this pressing, during which, as I have indicated, the Rangers were not in luck's way — but, bear in mind, that the Thistle defence was very determined, and made few mistakes — the Thistle got on the attack, and a sweeping ball from Salisbury came right to Blair.

THISTLE'S GOAL

Unmarked, the Partick Thistle winger had ample time in which to take aim. He did so effectually, scoring with a shot which, to my thinking, should have been saved. By the way, it was rather remarkable that the score took place when Bowie was off the field — for one minute in order to change a torn jersey. Even before the Thistle scored it looked to me as though the Rangers were showing lack of confidence. The success, for which they had striven, and which they deserved to a big extent, did not come. Those blocked shots were certainly very disheartening. One or two of Alan Morton's crosses were a shade too fine, and when all was weighed up it looked as though the team were becoming unduly anxious — a factor which developed as the game wore on, and which certainly became a most potent factor in the second half.

CAMPBELL'S JUDGEMENT

All the same, I can't say that Campbell was very seriously tested, though he showed confidence and judgment during the first half. And these attributes were sadly lacking in his rival custodian, who seemed absolutely unnerved when Thistle counted, for the Ranger made no apparent effort to thwart the shot which counted. Another weakness in the display of the Rangers, in my view, was the outcome of McCandless coming up to the left half-back position. There was no necessity for the one-back game. The tactic showed undue anxiety — it almost suggested to my mind that the Rangers were losing the match. But in any event it upset the plan of campaign. It shoved Bowie out of his place. It caused undue crowding, especially on to the centre. Henderson wanted more room in which to work. He didn't get it. There was a general unsteadiness. There seemed to be no one to give that bit of steadying thrust.

If Jimmy Gordon had been there I believe he might have pulled the Rangers boys together. I believe he would have gone through with a good pop of his own. I remember he did that once against the Celts in an important game — and it was a winner. The Thistle's traditional lack of luck in Cup ties was instanced just before half-time, when a very glaring infringement in the penalty area was ignored by the referee. One of the Thistle's forwards, Kinloch, I believe, went out to meet a ball coming from the left-wing. He was in a scoring position when he was held by the goalkeeper. It was a clear infringement.

As the game proceeded the only men on the Rangers side who really mattered were Meiklejohn, Morton, and, at times, Archibald. The forwards as a whole did not give of their convincing standard which has meant such wonderful work in point collecting. Again in the second half, Campbell had little to do, but he revealed his international class very clearly when he dealt with a most awkward bouncing ball coming from a free kick taken by Meiklejohn. He did the only thing that could be done to avert danger — a neat tip past, proving his sound judgment.

CRICHTON AND THE UBIQUITOUS MORTON

Both the Thistle backs played exceedingly well — the younger one, Crichton, playing a wonderful game against the ubiquitous Morton. And then Wilson showed amazing virility for an untried youngster, whilst Joe Harris was right up to form. As if to prove his versatility, Joe (owing to a strain, really) went to outside right in the late stages of the game, and surprised everybody by his display of speed. From two of his crosses Salisbury should have scored. They were great chances — one in particular. Salisbury should have used his right foot instead of trying to get his left to it. A hard bang, pot-luck sort of a shot might easily have sealed the issue very safely. I liked Kinloch's display. He worked very hard, both in attack and defence. He has certainly had quite a lion's share in Partick Thistle's Cup-tie successes.

McMENEMY'S GREAT WORK

Then the old head and craft of James McMenemy brought his team out of many tight corners, and I might also say that James paid a good deal of attention to Cunningham. His defence work in that direction was often very valuable. The Rangers fought very hard for a goal. Once Harris brought down Alan Morton very near the penalty area, but, as I have shown, the Rangers gradually developed tense anxiety, which was, in a way, excusable, because really the Thistle defence was very robust, very sound, and if the defenders did not clear with much judgment at times, they did not hesitate to clear their lines in strong fashion. Yes, the Thistle's display was whole-hearted, and although they were not the better team in science, craft, and movement, they deserved their victory for their wonderful pluck, and also the very important fact that they snapped a good scoring chance which came their way.

THE GATE

The gate, 28,000, representing drawings of £2,800 odds (total attendance, over 30,000) was disappointing for a Cup Final, but, in my opinion, it was due to the restricted train services, conditions appertaining thereto, and the fact that the teams meeting was purely of Glasgow interest, and, still further, that the big majority expected a walk-over for the Rangers! And so those who stayed away missed one of the biggest surprises in the annals of the Scottish Cup. Final Result:— Partick Thistle, 1; Rangers, 0.

Stats Watch EIGHTH TROPHY FOR THISTLE - THE BIG ONE!
● Thistle appear in their seventeenth Cup Final, their first in the Scottish Cup.
● Thistle win their eighth trophy.
● Rangers are denied their first double, a much-coveted accolade at the time. In all, they played 61 games this season and were beaten only by Celtic and Thistle.
● To this day, Partick Thistle are the only side to have won the Scottish Cup by winning less than half of their games, 5 wins and 6 draws to be precise. Our unorthodox tradition will not allow it to happen any other way!
● With the herculean run to victory, Thistle gained the distinction of most legitimate games played (11) in a winning campaign. (3rd Lanark RV played 12 games in their controversial 1888-89 campaign, but 3 of these were voided). 1938 cup winners East Fife would subsequently match Thistle's 11 game total, and these two clubs share the record to this day.
● Thistle record their EIGHTH clean-sheet in this season's Scottish Cup; a tournament record which looks like it'll stand forever.
Kenny Campbell registers his SEVENTH clean-sheet in this season's Scottish Cup;, a record for any goalkeeper in the Scottish Cup which still stands today.
● 10 consecutive competitive appearances for Kenny Campbell, 12th Mar 1921 to date. (Longest run since: Tom Crichton - 11 games, 22nd Jan 1921 to 8th Mar 1921. Club-record: Jock McTavish - 61 games, 15th Nov 1913 to 6th Feb 1915.)


sc-1921-badge.png Meet the squad… WATTY BORTHWICK
Watty Borthwick

In the Cup, Watty hadn't featured since the win at East Stirlingshire 2 months earlier, but he was back to play a key role, filling the boots of internationalist Jimmy McMullan with distinction. Indeed, as astute observers noted, with his height advantage over McMullan, his inclusion might well have been a blessing in disguise.

Aged 19, Watty's first taste of senior football came with his local side, Leith Athletic, although he was disappointed not to command a regular first-team place at Old Logie Green. It took some years for his footballing career to find some momentum, but this it did in the mid-10s, with stints at Broxburn Shamrock, East Fife and Cowdenbeath. Watty was a Hibs supporter who actually lived on Easter Road and he got his dream move in the close season of 1916. Toughened and seasoned, the 26-year-old established himself as a first-team regular from the off, and served Hibernian as a solid right back for two full campaigns. He was regarded as a hard man to beat, who took a no-nonsense approach to defending.

Our regular right back of 1917-1918 had been Tom Adams, but it became apparent that ill health was going to severely limit his contribution as the next term came around. George McQueen (Rangers) and John Pearson (Tottenham Hotspur) were drafted in as emergency loanees, with Watty being cherry-picked from the Easter Road roster as the most realistic contender for the permanent place. All went well in his first season, as Thistle finished 4th, Watty featuring in 75% of the games. He'd've been half expecting it, and it came to be that Tom Adams returned for 1919-20, reducing Watty's game time to around 50% of the fixtures. As a charitable favour, Watty appeared in a couple of games for Dalbeattie Star in the Southern Counties Charity Cup at the tail end of the season.

At this stage, his reduced game time pretty much set the tone for his Firhill future, and he would have to content himself as a reserve, albeit he was viewed as a highly capable option as a stand-in, as and when necessary. And what a stand-in he proved to be in the gruelling and demanding 55 game campaign of 1920-21! Watty's game ratio was down to 33% this term, but he was invaluable when called upon, gaining plaudits for his 4 appearances in the Cup run, especially in the final itself. It was viewed as a major blow when Jimmy McMullan bowed out due to his ankle injury, but, on the day, Watty proved himself more than able for the challenge, imposing himself on the game, denying his more illustrious opponents the time and space, winning his aerial battles and, we believe, providing the wonderful crossfield assist for John Blair's winning goal.

Whilst some reports credit Salisbury, we rather think that the assist came from Watty, as per the Scotsman and Glasgow Herald accounts. McMenemy, protecting the ball in his own inimitable style, teed up a back pass which invited our stand-in spoiler to, uncharacteristically, burst forward down the left. Watty shimmied past internationalist Andy Cunningham, and lofted over a deep cross-field pass which was cleverly dummied by Jimmy Kinloch, who had spotted the unmarked run of John Blair, by now, dashing inside from the right wing. Blair's finishing drive, from 20 yards, served justice to the fine play and the rest, as the say, is history.

The Scottish Cup winners medal was possibly a career highlight for all eleven of the Jagsmen who took the field on 16th April, 1921, and that was certainly the case for Watty. However, frustrated at his "supersub" status, he hankered after a new challenge and, as I understand it, tried for Bristol City in a Division 2 match on 18th February, 1922, the Robins losing 1-0 at Sheffield Wednesday. He was back up the road to play his final game as a Jag at Dens Park two weeks later, before reuniting with Cowdenbeath for a short spell as 1921-22 drew to a close. I'm surmising that Watty was offered the financial benefit of a free transfer at this stage, as a thank you for his efforts at Firhill. He was back in England by the close season of 1922, joining Hartlepools United of Division 3 (North). Back again in the South of Scotland, the somewhat nomadic finale to his career drew to a close at Sanquhar, where, in season 1923-24, Watty played in the inaugural third tier of the Scottish Football League, assisting Nithsdale Wanderers in their quest. He played two seasons there, finishing on a high in 1925, as the title, and promotion, was secured. There would be no second tier twilight action for Watty though, as he retired from the game at that point, aged 35.

Watty settled back in Midlothian, where he latterly worked as a school janitor. He died of a cardiac arrest at his Loanhead home in 1969, aged 79, leaving a widow, Jane.

scottish-cup.jpg

THE PRESENTATION

Thankfully for Thistle fans, our players and officials didn't buy into all the defeatist talk with regards to their chances, and this was exemplified by our chairman, Mr. Thomas C. Reid himself. As the final unfolded, Tom's decision to discreetly slip a length of dark blue ribbon into his pocket seemed to become wiser with every passing minute, until he was able to reveal it to all and sundry in the Celtic Park pavillion after the game.

Presentations were somewhat conservative affairs in these days. Indeed, until recently, the SFA's practice of handing the Cup to the winners a week or so later was quite normal. Even now, there was no great show in front of the fans, rather a pleasant gathering of officials within the private confines of the pavillion building, where victory and consolation speeches would be exchanged.

Mr. Tom White (Celtic), the president of the S.F.A., presented the Cup, bedecked in Tom's dark blue ribbons, which was received by Reid himself. However, one thing had gone wrong with Tom's meticulous pre-match plans - the champagne that he'd ordered didn't turn up! Never easily beaten, just like his team, the bold Tom engaged in a fine bout of diplomacy which resulted in the Rangers champagne being "borrowed", thus the day was saved, and the gentleman could enjoy their toast, not a drop skooshed or spilled.

Fair play to the Rangers contingent, not only for the champagne, but for the gracious manner in which they accepted defeat, as the Sunday Post reported: “There was much congratulation given up to the Thistle representatives, and Sir John Ure Primrose, in replying for the Rangers, said that he thought that, whilst the Rangers were unlucky, the Thistle must be commended for their determined opposition, and also on the fact that they snapped a winning chance.

The scene imagined is in stark contrast to the glitzy and razzy affairs that we've grown accustomed to these days. Whilst there may have been a small amount of yelping and dancing in the streets, such behaviour would generally be seen as gratuitous and ungentlemanly in those days. All the same, it seems a shame there was no focal point of a Cup presentation for the fans to enjoy. The Thistle fans would get to see the Cup paraded at Firhill in seven days time though, which is good to know.

WHAT THEY SAID…

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This is the first time that Partick Thistle have reached the final stage, and their triumph is all the more remarkable seeing that they have never before won any trophy of outstanding importance. Another feature which makes the Thistle's victory all the more noteworthy is that it was achieved without the services of two of their best men, William Hamilton and James McMullan. (Sunday Post)

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When the "final" result board was carried round Hampden the "standites" showed how popular was the Firhill triumph. (Sunday Post)

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Needless to say, I am delighted. I grant that the Rangers were the better team all round, but our defence was brilliant, and, considering all, I think the Thistle thoroughly deserved their victory for their plucky exhibition. I noticed that in all our big Cup ties it was prophesised that we would go under. I'm heartily glad that the Thistle have confounded the prophets! (William Ward, Thistle Director and former player)

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The Rangers never seemed to settle into their proper game. Partick Thistle deserved to win. Their reserve men, especially Wilson, played exceedingly well. (Mr. James Black, S.F.A.)

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I thought it was a good game. The Rangers were a bit unlucky. Partick Thistle are to be congratulated on their victory. They played a very determined game. After all, it's quite good for football and sport generally to see a weaker team come out on top. (Mr. H. S. McLachlan, S.F.A.)

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I think the Rangers were very unfortunate. With ordinary luck coming their way they should have had the game beyond all doubt in the first twenty minutes. Still, the Thistle played pluckily, and, with their rushing tactics in the second half, the Rangers were up against it. All the same, I don't think anyone will grudge the Thistle their victory. I, for one, like to see the honours go round. (Jimmy Gordon, former Rangers player & Scottish internationalist)

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The Thistle defence, as they have done all through the Cup ties, played a large part in Saturday's success, and the two substitutes who were called in at the last minute justified the confidence reposed in them. (The Scotsman)

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The game was won in the first half which Rangers almost dominated. Afterwards, the exchanges may be writ-down as even. On an impartial view however, it must be conceded that Partick Thistle came closer to increasing their advantage in the second half as to losing it - a fact that must be taken into consideration when commiserating Rangers upon their ill fortune. (Glasgow Herald)

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Campbell was given surprisinly little to do, but all he did was sound. Crichton and Bulloch were a great pair at back, while none did better than Wilson and Borthwick, the reserve halves. James McMenemy played a game reminiscent of his Celtic days, and his experience and craft were valuable assets to the Thistle. (Dundee Courier)

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Willie Bulloch was a noble captain, Tom Crichton a worthy lieutenant, Kenny Campbell an inspired goalkeeper. James McMenemy, of the cunning football brain, knew where the mechanism of Rangers attack was vulnerable. He set himself to police Andrew Cunningham and did it so effectively that the rhythm of that usually devastating forward line was disastrously disturbed. (Daily Record)

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Jimmy [McMenemy] trailed Cunningham up, down and across the pitch. There is no doubt that his close-marking deprived Rangers of a vital cog in their attacking machine. (Jimmy Kinloch, Thistle's inside right on the day)

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The scene at Parkhead was a very dull affair. One would have been pardoned for thinking that Partick Thistle made a habbit of winning Cups. Mind you, I am not blaming our supporters. I have a feeling that they were inwardly in the seventh heaven at our success, but the nature of the Scot is not to show his joyous feelings. Had we been obliged to play the final in Edinburgh, or anywhere out of Glasgow, I have no doubt our supporters would have been meeting us with welcome arms on our arrival. Next time we win the Cup I am expecting our supporters to show their enthusiasm in more definite form. (Thistle goalie Kenny Campbell in the Weekly News)

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The intelligence that Partick Thistle won the Scottish Cup at Parkhead on Saturday caused a wave of sensation even in purely English football circles. In the belief that Glasgow Rangers could not be beaten they were rampant favourites across the Border. Tottenham Hotspur are the popular fancy of most English enthusiasts. and they have been asking themselves the question - Do coming events cast their shadows before? Will Wolverhampton Wanderers follow the example of the Thistle in the Final Tie for the association Cup at Chelsea? (The Athletic News)



sc-1921-badge.png Meet the squad… JOHN BLAIR
John Blair

Throughout this Scottish Cup story, I've tried to introduce each player at an appropriate moment in their individual campaigns and, when sketching out this plan, the first man considered for 'the last word' was John Blair. It seems only right that the great story ends with the great hero of the day; the man who put the ball in the Rangers net!

The Ardrossan-born right winger was a red-hot name in the junior game, starting and finishing his career with Saltcoats Victoria, and representing his country at that level on several occasions. He scored 33 times in his 6 seasons at Firhill, and would actually finish as our top League scorer, with 12, in season 1921-22. However, he was considered more of a provider than anything else, a “clever manipulator” and “extremely dangerous raider”. Had we been able to chart assists from this era, it would have been interesting to assess John Blair's tally, as he was forever being quoted in the build-up play, and his efforts undoubtedly helped us on our way throughout this campaign. The selectors certainly had him marked down as essential this season, starting him on 51 occasions, placing him at the very top of the appearances chart. John was one of only three - along with Joe Harris and Jimmy Kinloch - to feature in all eleven of the Cup games.

He had started this season in fine scoring form, with 8 goals before the New Year, but was on a barren run of 22 games without netting, albeit he had been making worthwhile contributions, notably assisting with the goals which secured Scottish Cup victories over Hibernian, in February, and Motherwell, in March. What a time he chose to end the scoring drought!

As we've read, 40-year-old Jimmy McMenemy, going for his 7th winners’ medal, was marshal of the day’s operation, nullifying threats and guiding others, and he teed-up a back pass which invited our stand-in spoiler, Watty Borthwick, to uncharacteristically burst forward down the left. Watty shimmied past internationalist Andy Cunningham, and lofted over a deep cross-field pass which was cleverly dummied by Jimmy Kinloch, who had spotted the unmarked run of John Blair, by now, dashing inside from the right wing. Having ghosted in behind the high lying Rangers backs, John was now in with a big chance, and his culminating touch, from some 20 yards out, served justice to a fine move. Thistle’s outside right kept his head at the critical moment, “delivering the parting and successful shot with admirable coolness and judgement”, and the ball nestled just inside the post of the Rangers ‘keeper who, like his defenders, also seemed to be taken by surprise.

James Bowie, the Rangers left-half, later stated that the thing he regretted most in all of his career as a player was the “trifling accident to his knickers” (his elastic broke) which caused him to leave the field for a moment or two, twenty minutes into the game. It does seem to stack up with the reports that our man was able to ghost in for a clear opportunity. Frankly, we'll take all the luck we can get.

From John's point of view, he put himself in a great position to have that one shot at glory, and he took it like a champ. John Blair - eternal Partick Thistle legend!

sc-1921-badge.png Scottish Cup Winners 1921
scottish-cup-1921.jpg

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.

(PTS)

Publishing date An original Thistle Archive publication, 16-Apr-2021.
Latest edit date Latest edit version 16-Apr-2021.


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