You Couldn't Make It Up!

by Jack Little

When the SFA discovered that 5 teams (Thistle, Rangers, Hearts, Third Lanark and Queen's Park) had entered the FA cup in season 1885/86, they warned the clubs that if they were drawn against and played an English professional club they themselves would be deemed professional and expelled from the Association. As it turned out, Thistle were drawn against amateur Queen's Park, losing 5-1. It was the first time two Scottish clubs had met in the tournament. The following year Thistle beat Cliftonville in the 4th round and it was almost certainly the only time a Scottish and Irish club met in the FA cup. The match was a one-sided affair (11-1). The "Glasgow Herald" reported that Cliftonville's only goal was scored when Duff, fed up with nothing to do, left his goal.

Bizarre footnote. Just over 3 years later Cliftonville beat Birmingham St George’s 4-2 in a New Year friendly in 1889. The local press made much of this as the result came after a series of drubbings by Scottish and English teams. The "Ulster Football and Cycling News" reported that as the boat left Irish shores taking the visitors and their supporters back to England a man was incessantly shouting "Partick Thistle 11 to1"! The only act of defiance he could think of on the spur of the moment. Their editorial made it clear he was "not well received".

Publishing date An original Thistle Archive publication, 07-Sep-2020.
Latest edit date Latest edit version 10-Mar-2021.

© The Thistle Archive 2015-2024. All rights reserved. Third-party trademarks and content are the property of their respective owners, and subject to their own copyright terms and conditions. See the website links provided in each case.