Who Put The Ball In The Rangers Net?

by William Sheridan
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rangers-net-01.jpg

SANDY HAIR

14.05.1927 Rangers [n] W6-3 (Glasgow Charity Cup Final)
Bobby Grove (1-0, 18 mins); Sandy Hair (2-0, 23 mins); Sandy Hair (3-3, 65 mins); Sandy Hair (4-3, 102 mins); Sandy Hair (5-3, 105 mins); Sandy Hair (6-3, 115 mins)

Stanley Matthews, Ferenc Puskás, Kenny Dalglish, Ronaldinho, Lionel Messi, Wayne Rooney – they've all had a go. In fact, well over 5,000 sets of strikers have had a go since the 1870s. In all that time only one man ever managed to put the ball in the Rangers net FIVE times in a single competitive match – that man is Sandy Hair, of Partick Thistle. This would stand as an amazing feat in its own right – that he would do it for Thistle at Hampden in a Cup Final really takes the biscuit! 2 headers and 3 shots from the prolific striker helped Thistle to their first ever Glasgow Charity Cup success; a 6-3 victory over our old rivals on Saturday, 14th May, 1927.

Sandy was a late starter as a pro, joining the Jags, aged 25, in late May 1923, on the back of a sensational season in the junior game with Strathclyde, in which he had bagged 96 (NINETY SIX) goals, en-route to a League and Cup double. Although a wee guy, he was a good header of the ball and could score with either foot, although his left was especially deadly. He was a constant menace to all defenders with his remarkable stamina and clever awareness in the box.

Although his 5 goal feat came as a great surprise to casual observers, it may not have come as TOO much of a shock to those who were closely following the Jags in this season, for these goals took his final tally to 49 in just 46 games (the club played 48). Thistle fans had never seen the likes, nor have they since. 49 competitive goals (including 5 hat-tricks) is way out in front as a record tally for a player in a single season, as his League total of 41. It’s incredible to think that he had previously been rejected by Rangers for being “too wee”!

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Remarkably, 3 of Sandy’s 5 goals came in the extra time period, which is another wholly unique occurrence in senior Scottish football. We look to the leading goal, the first in extra-time, as the one which struck the fatal blow, and broke Rangers resistance:

At three minutes from half-time Hair got a lovely ground pass, and outpacing Gray, he fired a fine slanting ball past Moyles.

At the end of the game, it’s reported that the referee approached our hero and handed him the match ball. It’s further reported that the crowd cheered vociferously and the Rangers players, in true sportsmanlike fashion, warmly congratulated Thistle's centre forward on his unique achievement.

Sometime after the game had finished, Alex’s mother heard a commotion outside their flat on Dalmarnock Road, near the bandstand at Bridgeton Cross. She leant out the window and shouted down: “what’s all the noise about?” Someone shouted up: “A local lad has just put five in against Rangers!” She looked down and, lo and behold, there was her very own son being carried home on the shoulders of a very happy crowd!

In fact, so delighted were Thistle’s supporters with Sandy that a commemorative trophy was awarded to him in recognition of his unique achievement, and to this day it rests on display in the Scottish Football Museum at Hampden Park.

With 100 goals in 122 games for Thistle, Sandy made a mockery of Rangers assertion that he was too wee; he was packing 5' 6 of pure Jaggy dynamite!

Who put the ball in the Rangers net?
Sandy!
Sandy!
Who put the ball in the Rangers net?
Sandy, Sandy Hair.
Sandy, Sandy Hair,
Sandy, Sandy Hair,
Who put the ball in the Rangers net?
Sandy, Sandy Hair!

(repeat x 5)

Publishing date Originally published on 25-Dec-2017 (WAT).
Thistle Archive publishing date Republished here on The Thistle Archive, 07-Sep-2020.
Latest edit date Latest edit version 25-Dec-2017.





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