What a Sensation!


On October 23rd 1971, eleven men in the colours of Partick Thistle produced arguably the greatest ever shock result in the history of Scottish Football. A result that prompted legendary Scottish football commentator, Arthur Montford to famously declare; “What a Sensation, it’s 4-0 Thistle”.

In the 1971 League Cup Final at Hampden Park a predominately young, universally exciting Partick Thistle side humbled Jock Stein’s previously all-conquering Celtic team by four goals to one.

On Saturday October 22nd 2011, almost exactly 40 years to the day of Thistle’s greatest ever triumph, the venue is once again Hampden Park for a celebration of that truly sensational result.

Partick Thistle have often been known as Glasgow’s other club, in fact if you had ever been in an argument over football in a strange part of town and you had been asked “what team do you support?” The safe answer was always Partick Thistle!

Partick Thistle have stood out on their own throughout the years, the ups, the downs of which there have been many but for every Old Firm fan or five that you know, there will always be a Jags fan in your midst.

While the Old Firm may get the glamour and hog the headlines, sometimes not for the right reasons, the Jags have always gone about their business in a happy-go-lucky manner.

The waters have not always been smooth as recent rumbling’s over Glasgow Warriors news that they will soon be departing Firhill, costing the Jags up to £100,000 in lost revenue has not been received well but Jackie Mc Namara and the football club just get on with doing their business on the park in the hope that it is enough at the end of the season.

With the club drawing attention to this fantastic achievement back in 1971 and rightly so, it may just give the Jags players and fans of today a taste of what can be achieved, results like this do come around every now and then.

Anyone who remembers the incredible Scottish League Cup Final victory over Celtic will be looking forward to reliving the moment all over again on Saturday night at Hampden.

Many including legendary commentator Arthur Montford, had been clearly stunned by the Jags first half performance and even Grandstand presenter Frank Bough was in a state of shock as even after he read the half-time score out he added, “we’ll just get that score coming through from Hampden confirmed!”

It was indeed a dream for the men from Maryhill, who would have thought that a Celtic team most of who had played in a European Cup final only a year before?

Thistle did not stand back and admire their opponents, instead they took the lead after only 10 minutes when Alex Rae got the party started,many thought that this would only waken Celtic up but instead it gave the Jags the self-belief to go on and score a second goal through Bobby Lawrie on 18 minutes as he cut in and beat Evan Williams then after 27 minutes Denis McQuade gave them a three nil lead and then 10 minutes later on 37 minutes Jimmy Bone walked the ball into the net to shock everyone inside Hampden and beyond!

The Half time score at Hampden read Partick Thistle 4 Celtic 0.

I am sure that there was many Rangers fans who made their way to Hampden to watch their bitter rivals been humiliated by the Jags after hearing the half-time score but this was one day that it wasn’t about the Old Firm, it was all about the Jags!

Celtic did pull a goal back in the second half, in the 67th minute through Kenny Dalglish but they could do no more to repair the damage done in the first half by the Jags and the cup was heading for Maryhill.

The job had been done, the Maryhill Magyars had done a number on Celtic and the players and fans were going to get ready for one of the biggest parties that Maryhill had ever seen.

Dave McParland and his boys had given the Thistle fans a day that they would remember for the rest of their lives and it is only fitting that the club has chosen this weekend,almost 40 years to the day to celebrate and recreate the magic of that day.

On Saturday night at Hampden, Thistle fans young and old will come together to celebrate the day that Partick Thistle beat the mighty Glasgow Celtic 4-1 to win the League Cup and remember such names of the heroes of that famous day …

Alan Rough, John Hansen, Alex Forsyth, Ronnie Glavin, Jackie Campbell, Hugh Strachan, Denis McQuade, Frank Coulston, Jimmy Bone, Alex Rae, Bobby Lawrie, Johnny Gibson and the legend that masterminded the cup win over Jock Stein and his boys , Dave McParland.

This will be a night of colour (red and yellow obviously), music, laughter and, of course, football. So dig out your scarfs, flags and banners so clear your throats, the bars which will be open should help with that, and get ready to raise the roof in celebration of Partick Thistle. This is the only party in town – make sure you don’t miss it.

Included in ‘1971 – What a Sensation’, will be:

  • Music from Neil Sturgeon (The man who wrote and sung ‘Follow Thistle’)
  • Songs from the Shed Boys.
  • Entertainment from a top class comedian.
  • Jags videos from Colin Scott where Thistle always win.
  • Unique interviews from 1971.
  • Presentation of the 1971 League Cup winning team complete with the League Cup itself.

Tickets for this unique, not to be missed event, are limited in number to 450 and are priced as follows:

  • Adults: £15
  • Children: £5

There will also be an opportunity to purchase a reproduction of the actual match programme from the game.

For anyone wanting to go to this special night or find out more information then go to http://www.ptfc.co.uk/

What a Sensation! 1971 Night
1971 – What a Sensation
Saturday October 22nd 2011
Kick-off: 7:30pm

With Thanks to Ami Small


About Author

Chief Features Writer for Scotzine.com. Sean has written for various publications and websites over the years and has been involved with making documentaries on Aberdeen Football Club, Dundee United Football Club, Henrik Larsson, Paul Lambert and Jock Stein and also Radio programmes, one of which "Old Firm Day" won a Bronze Sony Award. He also worked in the Scottish Football Museum at Hampden Park. His love of writing started off with The Punter and has gone on to write for the following FIFA magazine, 442, Scotland's Oracle, Players Inc, British Football Week, ESPN, Give Me Football, Inside Futbol, 67 Fanzine and the matchday programmes of Aberdeen, Carlisle United, Montrose, Partick Thistle, Stockport County and Queen's Park. He has also been asked to write a blog for Youth Football Scotland on St.Mirren YFC such was his passion for football at every level from Grassroots to the professional game.

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