Arthur Duncan
Arthur Duncan
Arthur Duncan
● Arthur Duncan, 1969 (EBY)

born in Scotland

Arthur M. Duncan was born on Friday, 5th December, 1947, in Falkirk.

The 5' 8 (10st 2lbs) forward signed for Willie Thornton's Thistle in 1965, having most recently been with Falkirk High.

Aged 18, he made his debut appearance on Saturday, 18th December, 1965, in a 2-0 win at home to Dundee in the SFL First Division.

Arthur scored his first goal for Thistle on Saturday, 5th March, 1966, in a 1-1 draw at home to Stirling Albion in the SFL First Division.

He scored the last of his 42 goals on Saturday, 20th September, 1969, in a 2-1 defeat away to Clyde in the SFL First Division.

He played his last game for the club on Thursday, 1st January, 1970, in a 3-1 defeat away to Rangers in the SFL First Division, having clocked up 166 appearances as a Jag.

Arthur's club-list included Partick Thistle, Hibernian and Meadowbank Thistle.

Bio Extra

Arthur was a speedy outside left who joined Thistle from Falkirk High School in 1965. He was just turned 18 years old when he made his debut in late December 1965, a league encounter against Dundee at Firhill. Thistle won 2-0 with Joe Hogan getting both goals (his last for the club). Arthur was so quick that when he went to Hibs the fans nicknamed him “Nijinsky”, their fans at that time constantly explaining that it was after the racehorse, not the ballet dancer! The Hibs players called him “Flyer” and he competed in the New Year’s Day Powderhall Sprint, a handicapped sprint for professional athletes.

The player’s years from 1965-66 to 1969-70 were not startlingly successful for a Thistle team during a period of change, and they generally ended up in the lower half of the SFL 1st Division, shockingly being relegated in the 1969-70 season, for the first time in nearly 70 years. Arthur had got out by then, having left for Hibs in January 1970. He was regularly in the Thistle side from his maiden senior match until the season he departed Firhill for Easter Road. In 1967-68 the Jags won through to the Quarter Final of the Scottish Cup, but a 1-0 defeat against bogey team Dunfermline at East End Park ended that campaign. Seasons 1968-69 and 1969-70 saw players who would later star in the 1971 League Cup Final victory start to appear in the team. Arthur scored the 2nd goal in a 2-2 draw at Ibrox on 15 April 1969 in the Glasgow Cup Final, heading home a Flanagan free kick. Thistle lost the replay 3-2 at Firhill in front of a 15,000 crowd. In 1968-69 Arthur played in every competitive match in every competition contested that season. A clear example of his consistency.

In a question-and-answer session with a Hibs publication Arthur was asked who his favourite “other team” were. “Partick Thistle” he replied. His most memorable match was his first Thistle SFL encounter with Celtic at Firhill on 21 March 1966 when the Jags got a 2-2 draw. Arthur scored that day, excellent stuff for the 18-year-old. A newspaper report started “Celtic, odds-on favourites at Firhill Park, were somewhat lucky to with a point after a thrilling game in which Partick Thistle astonished friend and foe with an exhilarating game…” A crowd of over 25,000 watched this contest. Over the seasons he was at Firhill Arthur was a regular contributor to the scoring charts, not to mention his assists. He left for Hibs in January 1970, with the Jags receiving a £35,000 transfer fee. His final match for Thistle was a 3-1 defeat away to Rangers, and the player clocked up more than 160 first team appearances, with more than 40 goals.

Arthur became a firm Easter Road favourite, and between 1969-70 to 1983-84 he made a (at that time) record 446 league appearances. Shortly after he joined Hibs, Eddie Turnbull became the club’s manager, and built a very competitive side. Hibs’ fans remember well his 2 goals in their New Year’s Day 1973 7-0 league victory against Hearts at Tynecastle. He won 6 Scotland caps, all in 1975. The player was also awarded 4 Scottish League caps in 1976-77. Arthur was also 1 of the 5 players banned from playing for Scotland after they went to a nightclub in Copenhagen after a 1-0 victory against Denmark. The 5 got involved in a fracas with Danish police officers and, after press involvement, all 5 were banned from playing for Scotland for life. Arthur and Joe Harper had their ban rescinded a year later. The ban on the remaining 3 players was eventually commuted.

Arthur left Hibs in 1984, and joined Meadowbank Thistle for 3 seasons. His footballing career ended when he broke his collarbone in an East of Scotland Shield match. Arthur had qualified as a chiropodist early in his football career, and when the injury called time on his playing career, he became the Meadowbank physiotherapist. He also had a private practice as a chiropodist. In 2009 Arthur and his wife left for New Zealand to join their son and his family, who had emigrated there earlier.


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