Ye'll No' Believe Who Scored It!

by William Sheridan
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ADAM FORSYTH

Monday 26th March 1951
Glasgow Cup Final replay
Celtic [n] W3-2

This big Highland laddie spent 5 years with Thistle, arriving from Ross County in December 1946 along with outside-right Frank MacBeath. Under both Donald Turner and David Meiklejohn, Adam went on to make over 100 appearances for the club, almost always at centre half. He took his time in getting a goal, but when it eventually came he did it style – in a Cup Final at Hampden!

The game in question was the third attempt to settle the final tie. After the 1-1 draw at Hampden in September, there was considerable disappointment for the 50,000 or so who turned up for the replay at the national stadium on Christmas day – the game was called off at 1.40pm, just 20 minutes before kick-off, with fog reducing visibility to just 20 yards.

Fully five months after the first game, the replay finally went ahead at Hampden – this time in an Easter Monday snow storm! The majority of the 51,300 attendees on this day were braving the open terraces – but they were rewarded by a match which was described as “a true thriller”.

From a Johnny MacKenzie corner, a first-time shot from Jimmy Walker had Thistle ahead inside two minutes. However, with a storm of wind and snow at their backs, Celtic soon equalised through John McPhail. Disaster struck for Thistle late in the first half as Willie Crawford was forced to retire with a bad shoulder injury. Willie couldn’t just sit back and watch though – after missing several minutes of the second half, he re-entered in the traditional “lame nuisance” role out on the left wing. With twenty minutes left, the Parkhead side went ahead through Bertie Peacock, after fine dribbling work from Charlie Tully, Celtic’s best player on the day.

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Then, with just ten minutes to play, Jimmy Walker was racing through on goal when he was tripped by Jimmy Mallan. PENALTY TO THISTLE! Chaos ensued as the Celtic players protested the award. The Herald reported: “I had no doubt that the centre forward was tackled down as he shot at Hunter. Mr. Mowat was equally sure that it had been an unfair tackle, and he was immeasurably better place to judge than most of the Celtic players and almost all of the spectators who howled for his blood.ADAM FORSYTH was the coolest head in Hampden. He slotted home his one and only goal for Partick Thistle like a seasoned striker. What a time to break his duck. Partick Thistle 2 Celtic 2 in the Cup Final at Hampden – 10 minutes to go!

The best was yet to come – there was little doubt that several Celtic players lost the place thereafter. Just a few minutes after the equaliser, our lame nuisance Crawford took maximum advantage of a Celtic defence thoroughly rattled, sending Willie Sharp through into the danger area, which resulted in Jimmy Walker shooting home a winning goal for the Jags.

The Times singled out the speed of Jimmy Walker and the Captaincy of Adam Forsyth as key to the victory, and with Thistle’s display of “grand football and big heartedness” they were being talked about as potential Scottish Cup winners. The Bulletin commented: “the Celtic forwards met their match in Forsyth. The pivot can seldom have played better, and it was appropriate that he should shoot home the penalty kick which levelled the scores 10 minutes from time.

At the end of the game, Tully, in a matter most unbefitting of a sportsman, was trying to persuade his team mates to depart rather than stand and applaud the winners. They weren’t all like him though – it’s counter-reported elsewhere that Bobby Evans went out of his way to shake hands with both the referee and with our penalty scorer Adam Forsyth.

Meanwhile, Tom Reid, following a family tradition started by his father back in 1921, forgot the champagne. With the co-operation of some understanding Queen’s Park officials, one quick raid on the Hampden drinks cabinet and the problem was duly solved. The Cup was soon flowing with the sweet taste of success! Well done Adam Forsyth – he’d never forget his crucial one and only goal in this memory-packed game.

Publishing date Originally published on 20-Dec-2014 (WAT).
Thistle Archive publishing date Republished here on The Thistle Archive, 21-Dec-2020.
Latest edit date Latest edit version 20-Dec-2014.

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